Matthew Cox is determined to continue with his impressive progress as a young goalkeeper after bouncing back from the setback of being allowed to leave Chelsea as a 14-year-old.
Chelsea’s loss is most certainly Wimbledon’s gain with Matthew having gone on to achieve England youth honours since leaving the Premier League club and he today signed his first pro contract on his 17th birthday.
“As a kid, I achieved quite a lot and I joined Chelsea when I was eight, staying there for six seasons. Leaving there was a big eye-opener. When I came to Wimbledon I was given opportunities and it was a club that accepted what had happened to me. All the coaches: Bayzo, Jordan (Knight), Seb (Brown), Rob (Tuvey) and Michael (Hamilton) gave me an opportunity at this club. They trusted me and thought that I could go far in the game.
“It shows that there has been setbacks in my career – there will be setbacks in everyone’s careers – but it’s how you deal with those setbacks. If you deal with it right, then you can get what you want in your career. The hard work does start now because I have a lot more to work towards, but if you don’t give up you can chase your dreams and make it happen.
“Working with the first-team has accelerated my development so much. Training with Bayzo and goalkeepers at a higher level has really helped me and I’ve built good relationships with them.”
On signing his first pro contract, Matthew added: “Since a young age when I first started getting into football, all I wanted was to become a professional so every day in training I came in thinking ‘what can I do and what can I do to achieve it?’
“It’s great news and I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday present. After all my hard work in the past couple of years, it’s all that I wanted and being able to achieve this on my birthday, as early as possible, is great news for me and my family.”
After signing his first pro contract, Matt had a chat on Zoom (a sign of the times!) with Academy Manager Michael Hamilton and Rob Cornell. Take a look at the full interview below.