LIAM Palmer believes he will return to Sheffield Wednesday a better player, after a promotion bid with Tranmere Rovers.
The Worksop professional footballer, on loan to Rovers until the end of the current campaign, after a successful first half of the season at Prenton Park, is delighted to have both his short and long-term future mapped out.
Last week Palmer signed a new two-and-a-half year deal with parent club Wednesday, and an agreement was reached with Tranmere to help him ‘finish the job’ with the League One leaders this season.
“I definitely see my long term future at Wednesday, but I want to finish the job I started in July when I went on loan to Tranmere,” he told the Guardian.
And when he returns to Hillsborough, he expects to have gained a lot from his loan experience, despite initial doubts about the move.
“I’ll be honest, I was a bit sceptical at first, Wednesday is all I’ve ever known and it was a big step for me, but I’m glad I took it because I couldn’t have asked for it to go any better.”
“The lads are fantastic at Rovers, we’re a really close knit group and the fact that we’re not the biggest squad, it’s not a club with a massive budget, has helped us grow close.”
“Being right up there in League One is teaching me about character, because you’re up there to be shot at and if you lose it’s important not to get too disheartened.”
“And it’s about not getting too carried away when you’re doing well, so it’s building character.”
“Hopefully when I come back in the summer I can have a good pre-season and challenge for a place in the team again.”
Still just 21 years of age, Palmer has gained more than just experience on the pitch this season, having tasted life away from home for the first time.
He said: “It’s good to live on your own when you get to a certain age and it’s been a good experience for me, having to cook for myself.”
“But I still get back as often as I can to see my family, I prefer having my mum around.”
The support of his loved ones in his home town obviously still means a lot to the former Valley student.
“I’m really grateful to my family and friends because they’ve been there for me from the start and my family have been a massive influence on where I’ve got to so far.”
“And everyone I see in the street, people I went to school with, they always give me a lot of support, so it’s great being back home.”
Moving away from Worksop for the first time, Scotland Under 21 international Palmer could be forgiven for feeling a little homesick, but it obviously hasn’t affected his form – Rovers boss Ronnie Moore gives him rave reviews.
The manager said: “I’ve been delighted with Liam this season. He has been a model professional while he has been here and a credit to Sheffield Wednesday.”
“He’s formed a great partnership with James Wallace and more recently Max Power in the centre of our midfield and he has improved as the season has gone on.”
And like the player, Moore believes he has the potential to get better, adding: “I think there is more to come from him too. He’s not scored yet but I think he has goals in his game.”