Hayden Carter hopes to reward the faith shown in him by manager Tony Mowbray by making the successful step up from the Rovers Academy to first team football.
The 20-year-old defender, who has been at the club since the age of 14, yesterday put pen-to-paper on a new two-year deal that will keep him at Ewood Park until June 2022.
A regular for Rovers Under-23s this season, Carter’s strong defensive displays for Billy Barr’s side saw him promoted to the senior squad for the away games against Charlton Athletic and Brentford in February.
Despite being an unused substitute on both occasions, Carter insists the experiences gave him a taste for first team football which he wants more of over the coming weeks and months.
“It gives you a big boost of confidence and it makes you realise how good it can be once you get there, to play in big games every week,” said the towering centre-back.
“You obviously had the traveling fans at those two games, who were unbelievable, both for the whole team and for me personally, so it was good.
“If my debut comes in the next nine games I would be delighted, but the gaffer will know when I’m ready, so I’ll just make sure I am ready if I’m called upon, but in the long run I want to be playing for Rovers week-in week-out.”
Working under a manager who played in the same position, Carter believes he is in the perfect place to develop, both as a person and as a player, and he is pleased that there is a clear pathway for young players at the club to progress to the first team fold.
“The gaffer has been brilliant with me ever since he’s come in, both as a scholar and as an Under-23,” added the rising star.
“When you know that the gaffer believes in you, it gives you a lot of confidence to push on and develop and hopefully play under him.
“As a central defender himself, I can learn a lot from him in terms of things on the field as well as off it.
“We know the gaffer trusts the youth. The likes of Ryan (Nyambe), Trav (Lewis Travis) and Bucko (John Buckley) have all been on similar journeys to me, through the Academy, so to follow in their footsteps and make that step up would be a big thing for me.”