Cody Cropper feels he can progress into whatever he wants to be under new goalkeeping coach Dave Watson after penning a new one-year deal.
The American, who was a regular for Saints’ Development Squad last season, has been pushing to break into the first team over the last year.
Cropper got his first taste of life under new manager Ronald Koeman in the Dutchman’s first training session on Monday and the goalkeeper believes he has the ideal guidance from Watson as he looks to impress.
“It feels great,” Cody told the club’s official YouTube channel immediately after agreeing fresh terms. “I think it’s a great opportunity for me as a player to come in and work hard under the new staff and hopefully earn another contract.
“The environment you’re put in is one of a kind. Everybody has been saying that the new building here is five-star and it only looks to be getting better.
“I found Dave Watson to be very good. He has a style that I’ve been used to in the past. Hopefully under Dave Watson I can progress.
“I feel that it’s imperative that I keep progressing. I think that with him (Watson) being with England and doing jobs that he’s done in the past I think I can progress into whatever I want to become.”
The 21-year-old is eager to make an impression under the new regime immediately and aims to make strides towards the first team over the summer ahead of the 2014/15 campaign.
“I want to go from the start of the season,” Cropper declared. “I want it every minute of every day. It’s showed me what it feels like and now I want it even more.
“Now with the new staff it’s a different challenge and a different time for the club. For myself, going into this new year, it’s good for me.
“I want to go into pre-season and keep my head down and work hard. After pre-season I’ll look to push into the first team but I’ve got to keep training, keep working hard and prove myself not only to Dave Watson but the gaffer and his staff.”