Chessington youngster seals Palace deal

Nervous wait: Chessington's Ross Fitzsimons is delighted to be an Eagle

Nervous wait: Chessington's Ross Fitzsimons is delighted to be an Eagle

First published in Football Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Crystal Palace youngster Ross Fitzsimons said it was the longest 10 minutes of his life as he waited for news of his new contract, writes Andy Bloss.

The 18-year-old goalkeeper has penned his first professional contract with the Eagles, which will run until next July.

The former Millwall and Arsenal schoolboy has been with Palace since he was 14 and is the latest young Eagle to commit his future to the club.

Fitzsimons, who lives in Chessington, went to Roehampton Church School and also played for Wandsworth Borough.

The young keeper said it was great to sign his first professional deal with the club and was looking forward to pushing for a first team place.

“It was one of the most nervous things I have ever done in my life waiting outside the manager’s office,” he said.

“I was there for 10 minutes, but it felt like hours and when he called me in he just told me straight that I would be getting a new contract.

“He was really pleased for me and he was delighted to offer me my contract. I think the club have high hopes for me, so I just need to work hard and wait for my chance.

“I have a few aims for next season. I want to play games and try to get out on loan to get some first team experience.

“It would be great to get on the bench a few more times like I did last year and hopefully even play some games for the first team.”

The 18-year-old has some experienced heads in front of him in the pecking order, with fans favourite Julian Speroni holding the number one jersey and Lewis Price as his back up.

But Fitzsimons, pictured left, said he loved training with the pair and said they were always on hand to give him help and advice.

He said: “I work with Julian near enough every day and he is just one of the best guys I have worked with.

“He is so down to earth and helpful. If I have any problems or there is something I need to work on, he is the first guy I go to.

“He is so pleased to give me help and tips, it is great. Lewis Price is fantastic too and he helped me through my scholarship. I am probably in the best place anyone would wish to be, to be honest.”

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