Adam Curry admits the 2018/19 campaign will be an 'important' season for him as he looks to make the step up to the Tigers' first-team.
The centre-back, who turned 21 on Monday, penned a new one-year deal with the Club last week after impressing for Jon Beale’s Under-23 side in 2017/18 following his return from injury, also enjoying a loan spell at Vanarama National League North side Spennymoor Town in the latter stages of the campaign.
Having extended his stay at the KCOM Stadium, Curry is now fully focused on hitting the ground running when the Tigers return for pre-season training at the end of June.
“Without wanting to put too much pressure on myself, it’s an important year for me,” he said.
“This will be the first time that I’m coming into pre-season feeling 100 per cent. Hopefully, on the back of that, I’ll be able to hit the ground running when we return for pre-season and impress the manager, impress Andy Crosby and all the first team coaching staff.
“I think I can speak for all of the young lads when I say that we want to be at Cottingham full-time. We all want to be there day in, day out training with the first team. That’s my aim and hopefully, I can achieve it next season after penning my new deal.”
Curry will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Jarrod Bowen, Max Clark and Dan Batty in successfully making the transition from the Academy to the first-team set-up and was quick to praise the efforts of Nigel Adkins and his staff in making the Club’s younger players feel part of the group when down at the University of Hull Training Ground.
“It’s so important that you’ve got someone right at the top taking an interest in the youth set-up. Nigel Adkins is one of the first gaffers that I’ve seen do that here and he really believes in everyone being together.
“Whenever the younger lads are training with the first-team, he always makes you feel part of it and speaks to you a lot – you never feel like a stranger when you’re down at Cottingham and that really helps. In my opinion, all of the young lads feel more involved now.
“That was highlighted by the six or seven younger lads he included in the squad that travelled to the Club’s end-of-season trip to Kenya. He didn’t have to do that whatsoever but he wanted to give us a chance.
“It was a great opportunity for us younger lads – and not just on the football side of things. The fact he did that shows he believes in the excellent work that is being done in the youth set-up here.
“Hopefully we can see more of the progression we’ve seen of late. The next generation is always important and we have some very talented youngsters down at Bishop Burton, which is great to see.
“The young lads that have come through have done brilliantly and contributed to the team really well last season – the likes of Jarrod, Max and ‘Batts’. That highlights that excellent work that is being done by Jon Beale and his staff and long may that continue.”
Reflecting more on the Tigers’ trip to Kenya, which saw players and staff witness the work of several community projects in areas such as the underdeveloped Kibera as well as taking on Kenyan League Champions Gor Mahia in a showpiece challenge match in front of 60,000 fans at the Kasarani Stadium, Curry added: “It’s hard to sum up the whole trip in words. It was a very humbling experience from start to finish.
“From the football side of things, it was great to be involved and it was great to get 90 minutes. The fans on the day were unreal. To make my first appearance for the first-team, with senior players, in front of that many people was unbelievable.
“I had to pinch myself at times – it was just surreal! To have the chance to play with the players I did was a fantastic experience and one that I was very grateful to be given.
“It wasn’t just about football though. Going to the slums in Kenya was a really eye-opening experience. We don’t realise how fortunate we all are and how lucky we are to live the lives we do here in England.
“The people of Kenya were just great with us from start to finish. They were all telling us how much they hope we can come back in the future and I do hope it’s something we can do again because it’s always nice to give something back.
“It’s a great partnership that the Club has with SportPesa and the work they do with charities really is amazing. I came away from it all thinking that if I wasn’t involved in football that it would be something I’d like to do.
“We got to see the difference it makes to less fortunate people. To see the smiles on peoples faces – particularly the children – was just unreal. It made us smile as well, and I think that’s massively important.”