Tom Leak signs new Walsall contract
Walsall defender Tom Leak has signed a new contract with the club.
The 19-year-old was offered new terms last month, alongside fellow youngsters Sam Perry and Joe Willis.
Leak, who spent time on-loan at Salisbury last season, is now aiming to take his first taste of men's football into the 2020/21 campaign with the Saddlers.
“I’m delighted to have signed to be honest with you,” Leak said via the club's channels.
“With the current situation that we are in, I am delighted to have got things sorted and to have got it done.
“It was massive for me to go out on loan last season and I think it is what I needed.
“I was stepping up into a mens environment for the first time and challenging myself at that level.
“I thought I did well with it to be fair. I have gained valuable experience from going out on loan.
“In first team football, it means absolutely everything to get the three points on a Saturday.
“The intensity isn’t quite there when you’re with the under–18s and 23s but when you make the step up, you realise just how much it means to get the three points on the board and it made me realise that people need the three points to feed their kids and they can only do that by winning games.”
Leak has yet to make his competitive debut for Walsall, however after fellow academy graduates Alfie Bates, Perry and Willis all had minutes of first team football last season, the centre-back is hoping to impress manager Darrell Clarke.
“Seeing how well Alfie, Joe and Sam did last season, gives me massive hope for next season,” he added.
“Hopefully I can go on and make my debut this year. Hopefully I can get in and around the first team, which is my main aim. I want to really push on this season and keep developing and hopefully I can make my debut.”
Assistant and development manager Brian Dutton has worked closely with Leak in the development squad over the last year and is not surprised to see him earn a deal with the club.
“Tom has earned his contract through his unrelenting work ethic and application,” Dutton said.
“He cut his teeth with men’s first team football last season with his loan at Salisbury where he thrived.
“He is a player we believe is for the future but we may need to call on him sooner rather than later if he can continue his excellent development.”