An influential figure in our run to the FA Youth Cup semi-finals in 2014-15, Kyle Walker-Peters earned his senior debut on our post-season tour of Malaysia and Australia.
The 18-year-old, who can play at both right-back and left-back, was on target in victories against Wolves and Nottingham Forest as he completed the full 90 minutes of every match we played in the aforementioned cup competition last term.
He also made 12 appearances for us in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League in 2014-15, scoring once, in addition to notching up 13 appearances in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League.
He rounded off the campaign by playing the entire second half in both our senior friendlies against a Malaysia XI and Sydney FC while on tour and is now looking forward to what he hopes will be another season of progress in 2015-16...
Thoughts on the season overall?
On a personal level, I think I’ve progressed a lot over the last year. At the start of last season I went away with the Under-21s for a pre-season trip to France where I’d say I learned a lot. I continued working with my coaches after that and since the mid-way point of last season, I’ve been in the Under-21s squad regularly. We also did well in the FA Youth Cup in the early stages and I still think we were unlucky to lose against Chelsea in the semi-finals. I was happy with my goals against Wolves and Forest – in fact, during the training session before the Wolves game, I was working on a few finishes and the goal I produced in the match happened to be one of them, so it worked out well!
Your personal highlight of the season?
Probably the day I was told I’d be going away with the first team on the tour to Malaysia and Australia – and then obviously getting the chance to play in those games. It’s a massive step up to senior level with the pace, the physicality and the technical ability that’s needed in training but I think I’ve managed to deal with it pretty well so far. I still think I need to get stronger but I’m sure that will come. Also making my debut for England at Under-18 level was a highlight, because getting myself in the international squad was something I’d been speaking to my coaches about. It was very pleasing to achieve that.
Plans for the summer?
I’ve been spending time with my family, seeing my friends and getting myself in the gym! It’s always refreshing to have some chill-out time before the start of pre-season.
Thoughts on pre-season?
I have a local artificial turf area near where I live so I’ve been working a bit on my technical ability as well as keeping my fitness levels up. Because of that, I’m hoping it will be quite straightforward to get back into the rhythm of things in pre-season training.
Hopes for next season?
To be in and around the senior squad again and to do well with the Under-21s. I think it’s very important to keep developing and performing well for the Under-21s. Another target is to hopefully play for England again.
Catch up on Nabil Bentaleb’s answers to ‘Five questions for summer’ from yesterday here...