Grant Hanley is eyeing a bright future at Ewood Park after signing a new long-term contract with the club.
The 21-year-old, who has committed himself to Rovers until the summer of 2018, is looking ahead to the 2013-14 season with optimism, following the appointment of former development coach Gary Bowyer as manager.
Grant started 35 league games for Rovers during a disappointing 2012-13 Championship campaign, but received plenty of plaudits for his own performances.
The Scotland star hopes to improve and impress further in the coming season, and is confident Rovers can mount a realistic push for promotion.
Grant said: “As soon as the end of the season came and I heard that the club wanted me to sign a new deal, I couldn’t wait to get it done and it feels brilliant.
“I’ve been at the club for a while now. I signed when I was 16. It’s a great club, I like the place, I’m settled and I’m really happy to extend my stay here. Hopefully we can have a good season and push towards the Premier League.
“Obviously I’m still young and I’m still learning. I played a lot of games last year, which was good for me and I’m still just trying to learn off the more experienced boys. It helps playing alongside Scott (Dann). He’s been around for a while and he’s great to play next to.”
Grant is also looking forward to forging a strong partnership with Gary Bowyer, who had two successful spells as caretaker manager last term.
Grant first worked under Bowyer at the Academy, when he was in charge of the Under-18s, and the defender was delighted to see that he had been offered the top position permanently.
“I’m really pleased for Gary because I’ve known him since I signed, when he was the youth team manager and then I played under him in the Reserves as well,” Grant added.
“The stints when he was in charge last season proved that he is up to the job and I’m looking forward to working under him this year.
“He’ll be looking forward to it as well, because it’s his first job in management and I’ve spoken to a lot of the lads and they’re excited for this year and pleased for Gary as well, so we’re looking forward to it.
“I’ve just got to take it as it comes and concentrate on my own performances. Keep working hard every day in training and hopefully we’ll get the rewards with being up at the top end of the table, pushing for promotion.
“There’s good quality players here and obviously we’re bringing more quality in, which is good for the club, so hopefully we can have a good season.”