Grimsby Town: Shaun Pearson relishing another full-time season with Mariners
SHAUN Pearson believes he has the mental strength to help drive the Mariners on next season following his first year as a professional footballer.
The 23-year-old made 33 appearances and scored three goals during his maiden full-time campaign after joining on a two-year-deal from Boston United last July.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Pearson said that the step-up from part to full-time football had been a both a mental and physical challenge as he adapted to the rigours of training every day.
But after what he admits was a slow start to his Blundell Park career, he feels he finished the season strongly and now want to take what he has learnt into the 2012/13 campaign.
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He said: "It was my first year full time and I think it was quite clear that I struggled to find my feet and find my form at the start of the season.
"But as the season went on, from a personal point of view, I thought I came to terms with the league and finished strongly, hopefully I can build on that next season.
"There is a big difference between part and full-time football.
"At a professional level, the business as a whole is a lot tougher mentally and you need to be a lot thicker skinned, which is no bad thing.
"My body had to adapt to the fact that I was training every day and I quickly became a lot more aware of what it takes to succeed at this level.
"My first year full time was fantastic.
"It is something that I have been working towards my whole life so I was never going to let it pass me by.
"Most young boys dream of becoming a professional footballer and I was no different; being able to do that was fantastic and I loved every minute of it."
The end of his first year as a pro means that Pearson is currently in the midst of his first ever post-season break.
And while he has been glad of a rest after a long season, Pearson is eager to return to action and gear up for a promotion push.
"Because this is my first year in full time football, this is the first time that I've had a break like this since I was at school.
"It has all been about trying to keep myself busy until the start of the season. I can't wait to get back for pre-season, see the lads and get started."