Why Sheffield Wednesday No 1 Cameron Dawson is a man on a mission
Goalkeeper Cameron Dawson is determined to kick on after signing a new long-term contract at HIllsborough.
Dawson agreed fresh terms with the Championship club earlier this week, tying him to Wednesday until the summer of 2024.
The 24-year-old, a lifelong fan, has ousted Keiren Westwood as No 1 in recent months. He has now started the last 14 matches and is expected to be in between the sticks when the Owls host Millwall this weekend.
On manager Garry Monk handing him the No jersey, Dawson said: "He has given me the opportunity; it’s now mine to lose.
"Nothing is guaranteed in football. I know that’s how it works, I just need to keep putting the performances in.
"That’s something which I will back myself to do. I will really try over this next period to try and improve myself, keep growing - hopefully the team grows - and we can all grow together.
"Personally, I feel this season I have made some big strides in my game, things I have changed from last season, but there are still lots of things to work on.
"I am the sort of character who is desperate to improve all the time, I am always looking at new ways, changes I can make, to bring something new."
Dawson, who has played 59 times for Wednesday since making his debut in 2016, was quick to pay tribute to chairman Dejphon Chansiri after agreeing a new contract.
"I am delighted with the long-term deal, it gives me security so I can just work and concentrate on my football.
"We got the deal done quite quick, which was good for both parties. I really need to thank the chairman for that, it’s easy for these things to drag on.
"From both sides, it was something we wanted to get done pretty sharpish."
Asked if he ever thought he would have to leave S6 in search of regular first-team football, Dawson said: "The honest answer to that is yes, of course. It’s not always been plain sailing, there has been some tough times along the way.
"Times when I have had to go away and rebuild myself and come back.
"But the recent past, what has happened over the last few months, it would have been silly for me to throw that away.
"I am delighted to play for this football club, it’s a football club I have great affection towards.”
A former under-18 and under-19 international for England, Dawson said: “I know how hard I have worked to get to this situation. Running into the last six months of my contract, I wasn’t prepared to just give that up.
“It hasn’t always been easy, there have been plenty of ups and downs.
“I wasn’t prepared to throw it all away, so when there was a chance of a new contract signed, it’s something I wanted to get done and stay here and work towards the future with this football club.”