Port Vale striker Jonathon Kapend says earning a professional contract at the club wasn’t easy but insists all of his hard work was worthwhile.
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Kapend officially put pen to paper on his contract on Tuesday morning at Vale Park, accompanied by his family.
Speaking exclusively to port-vale.co.uk, the hit man conceded there have been peaks and troughs along the way but was delighted his efforts have paid off.
“It’s been a tough journey for the past two years,” he said. “Being a scholar there have been some ups and downs but I’m really pleased to have gotten my professional contract at the end.”
Looking back at the day he was told by Rob Page, Sevvy Aslam and Mick Ede that he would be offered a deal, Kapend revealed it was an emotional moment.
“To be honest I broke down, I was in tears because I couldn’t believe it, I had been offered a contract,” he reflected.
“All the hard work that I’d done, the managers helping me, my youth team coach, all the advice I was given, I have taken it on board and I was pleased to have been offered one. It was just surreal really.”
Following a prolific 2014/15 campaign for the youth team, Kapend was nominated for the club’s Youth Player of the Year award, alongside Lewis Bergin and Omar Haughton.
The striker came out on top and was presented with his trophy at the Valiants’ annual awards evening.
“I was amazed really, I didn’t think that I would be nominated because there were loads of good players in our team,” he said.
“But to be nominated amongst them and to beat them as well, to be chosen, it was a good feeling.”
When pre-season starts next month, Kapend will join the likes of Chris Neal and Carl Dickinson in training as he begins life as a senior squad member.
It’s a moment the young forward is excited for and he believes that facing players of a higher caliber can only improve his game.
“I can’t wait, I’m looking forward to pre-season, all the games, getting the chance to play with the first team,” he commented.
“Playing with better and stronger players will help me a lot and yes I can’t to work with them.”
Below is a video of just three of many reasons why Jonathon was offered professional terms by the club.