Adam Wharton on 'overwhelming' start & living every fans' dream

Rovers midfielder Adam Wharton
Rovers midfielder Adam Wharton

Adam Wharton said he has had to overcome an ‘overwhelming’ start to his Rovers career but has his feet firmly on the ground as he looks to make an impact on the first-team stage.

Wharton rose to prominence with a man-of-the-match display on his first Championship start against Blackpool last month, a game shown live on Sky Sports.

That saw the 18-year-old receive national recognition for his display, while last week he was in the headlines again when signing a new five-year deal and then receiving a first call-up to the England Under-19s squad.

Head coach Jon Dahl Tomasson played down expectations on Wharton after an excellent start to his senior career, though Wharton too is remaining relaxed.

“It was overwhelming, to begin with,” he said.

“I saw everything online and I try to keep my mind away from it and don't get ahead of myself. I am focusing on the next games, you can't have one good game in a season. I reset, start again.”

  • Rovers star Adam Wharton says he is living every fans’ dream after signing a long-term contract extension.

Wharton penned his future to the club, agreeing a new five-year deal, to remain at Ewood Park through to 2027.

It comes after a breakthrough few months for Wharton who featured heavily in pre-season before making his senior debut, and then first Championship start.

Wharton has now made five appearances in all and will look to follow in the footsteps of brother Scott and become a first-team regular in the years to come.

On signing his new deal, he said: “Being a Blackburn fan, I wanted to stay here. The Championship is a great place for me to develop and challenge myself week in, and week out. Under the new manager, I feel like I can do those things.”

The signing of his new contract, which came only seven months after he first put pen-to-paper on his first professional deal, was particularly well timed as Wharton shot to prominence.

He also earned his first call-up to the England Under-19s set up which he described as ‘an honour’.

So too was making his breakthrough at his boyhood club, one he supports and has been with since the age of six.

He added: “It’s everything, it’s what you dream of as a kid. Going to the games, year after year and watching them, idolising players that previously played for the club. To make that dream a reality was one in a million.

“There were some nerves beforehand (his debut). Once I got those first few passes in the nerves settled a bit and it became playing like any other game.

“I tried my best to help the team and it paid off.”

Head coach Tomasson has put his faith in Rovers’ young players, getting a first sight of them in pre-season before integrating them into the first-team set-up.

He ruled out a loan move for Wharton earlier in the summer to keep him around the first-team squad, but was also keen to not build-up expectation on the teenager given his limited experience.

For Wharton, he knows that he will need to keep impressing to get more regular game-time and won’t be getting away with the progress he’s made.

“He’s come in and shown he trusts the youngsters. He’s said that if you do the right things in training and stand out then you will get the chance,” Wharton said.

“He has given those to youngsters and it’s great to see. It’s about building trust and show I can put in a shift for the team.

“He wants everyone to get better and better which is what he should do. If someone gets ahead of themselves, they can let the team down.

“It keeps your feet on the ground. Everyone needs to be focused.”