After young Leeds United forward Jack Clarke signed his first professional contract with the club, the highly-rated Academy prospect spoke exclusively with leedsunited.com, expressing his delight at signing.
Penning his contract on the same day as his 17th birthday, Yorkshire born Clarke said: “It feels good because it’s just what I’ve been working towards for a while, and it’s a bit of a relief to get it so early. It means I can push on now, and not have to focus on it for the next couple of years.”
After impressive form for the Under 18s, who are currently 2nd in their league with a game in hand, Clarke had caught the eye of other clubs, and explained why he chose to stay at Leeds United.
He said “I’ve been here for so long, and I feel like I’ve got a good support behind me at the Academy. I wouldn’t want to leave when I’ve got everything I want right here”.
Whilst a regular for the Under 18s, Clarke has made appearances for the Under 23s this season, and discussed the differences in playing for both.
“I feel like it’s been a good mix, because I’ve been able to challenge myself more playing with the Under 23s, as it’s more physical. It’s also great to have different experiences from playing against older players, to players my own age”.
With the Academy regularly giving opportunities to younger players to train with the Leeds United first team, Clarke spoke of his own experience.
He said “I feel like it’s a good opportunity as it’s another step up, and when you get it younger, you can get used to it quicker, and then step up fully. It’s a good experience, and it teaches you things that you can use when you go back down to your own age groups.
On his aims for the rest of the season? “To win the league with my own age group, I’m quite excited to play in the FA Youth Cup against Burnley, and then push on from there and see where it takes me”