Josh Meade: ‘Every time I put the Doncaster shirt on it feels special’

Josh Meade. Picture: Andrew Roe

Josh Meade. Picture: Andrew Roe

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‘Squeaky bum time’ is a fair description of life at Doncaster Rovers this week.

But for local lad Josh Meade it’s not just Championship survival hanging in the balance - it’s his livelihood.

Midfielder Meade was among a handful of teenagers handed one-year deals last year as part of Rovers’ revised youth policy.

The 19-year-old - who made his senior Doncaster debut in last season’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy - is one of 16 players out of contract this summer.

“It’s squeaky bum time,” admitted Meade, who spent time on loan at Northern Premier League outfit Goole earlier in the season.

“We’re all in limbo because it’s still to be decided what league the first team will be in next season.

“It was a similar thing last year. But you feel it even more this time around, knowing that your one-year contract is coming to an end.

“You want your career to carry on so there’s even more pressure.

“All I’ve been doing is knuckling down and working as hard as I possibly can in training.

“I’ve asked the gaffer if I’m in his plans but all the out of contract lads are in the same boat really - we have to wait and see what happens on Saturday first.”

Former Danum School pupil Meade joined Rovers at the age of 15 and describes the last 12 months as “a dream come true”.

“Every time I put the Doncaster shirt on it feels special,” he said.

“I used to stand in the Pop Stand at Belle Vue when I was eight or nine, watching the likes of Paul Barnes and Sean Thornton.

“I never thought in ten years’ time I’d be representing my local team.

“It’s a dream come true - and hopefully I’ll get the chance to keep it going.

“It’s been a good year, but it’s been tough,” he reflected.

“Until you get the opportunity, you don’t realise how tough it’s going to be.

“You’ve got to wait for your chance and train hard every day.

“With us being back in the Championship the aim this season was to not get relegated, so it was always going to be difficult for the youngsters to break through.

“But hopefully that will start happening over the next few years.”