Twelve months after being told he wasn’t good enough Charlie Burns has completed a remarkable turnaround by signing his first professional deal with MK Dons.
The 18-year-old keeper, who made his senior bow on the final day of the season against Leyton Orient, has signed a one-year deal with the option of a further year.
However, this time last year the youngster had pondered applying for University after being told he wasn’t good enough.
“At the end of last season I was told that I wasn’t going to be kept on which was heart-breaking,” Burns told MKDons.com.
“I didn’t know what I was going to do and so I started looking at possibly going to University.
“I then got given a chance to come back and play with the Academy. That whole process helped me because I experienced being out of football and I realised how much harder I need to work. That experience, looking back, did me the world of good.”
Signing his first professional contract caps of a an eventful fortnight for the youngster who admitted that he can’t wait for the new season to come around.
“I just can’t wait for the season to start now. I wish the Leyton Orient game was the first of the season. I’m itching to get going again” Burns added.
“I’m looking to get away for a week but then I’ll be coming back and looking to get going again, getting back in the gym and doing some fitness work.
“I’ve been working a lot of with Damo (Damien Doyle) since Christmas to try and build up my strength and work on bulking up. That’s an ongoing programme which I’ll be working on that throughout my break.”
The club’s goalkeeper coach Paul Heald added: “Credit has to go to Charlie, he’s had a roller-coaster ride to get to where he is today but it’s only his hard work and dedication that’s got him here.”
“He’s taken everything on board and he didn’t stop and feel sorry for himself after not getting a professional deal last summer. He’s just got stronger and stronger.”
“A lot of credit has to go to Dave (David Martin) and Ian (McLoughlin) as well, as they’ve worked with him and helped push him along.
“You learn from your peers and seeing the way those two train has helped push Charlie on and it’s provided him with a good environment to learn.”