The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Dan Barnes

HAV­ING ini­tially re­jected a new deal to stay at Bur­ton Al­bion, only to then com­mit to a new con­tract at the Pirelli Sta­dium, Tom Flana­gan wants to make up for hav­ing tested his man­ager’s pa­tience.

The 25-year-old de­fender tem­po­rar­ily be­came a free agent when he opted not to sign a new deal with the Brew­ers in June but in mid­week the former Mil­ton Keynes Dons man put pen-to-pa­per on a new two-year deal, with boss Nigel Clough brand­ing the fi­asco a ‘mis­judge­ment’ on his player’s part.

Flana­gan is now fo­cussed on play­ing a part in Bur­ton’s sec­ond-ever Cham­pi­onship cam­paign.

“It could be a re­ally big sea­son for me on a per­sonal level and hope­fully for the club as well,” he said.

“Ev­ery­one is still talk­ing about how well we did last year and with the new play­ers we have signed and the ones who have stayed on from last year, we all know it’s a re­ally big op­por­tu­nity to bet­ter our­selves.

“I have been train­ing with a Con­fer­ence side in or­der to keep fit.

“I wasn’t sit­ting at home do­ing noth­ing. I was tak­ing care of my­self, so hav­ing been given this op­por­tu­nity, I am in po­si­tion to re­pay the man­ager as soon as pos­si­ble.

“That means if he needs me in the next cou­ple of weeks, I’m def­i­nitely ready to go.”

Flana­gan made his North­ern Ire­land de­but against New Zealand in June and has been joined at the club by two in­ter­na­tional col­leagues in Matty Lund and Liam Boyce, who has since suf­fered a se­ri­ous knee in­jury, this sum­mer.

He said: “It’s great press for the foot­ball club to have them.

“I’m pleased they did sign as I was away with them with North­ern Ire­land and they asked me about the club, and I said they should bite the man­ager’s hand off as it’s a good place to play foot­ball.”

DEAL: Tom Flana­gan

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