Stewart hopes to repay Eddie’s faith after earning deal

Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart

KEEPER Jon Stewart is determined to reward Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall for putting their faith in him.

The 22-year-old former Swindon, Weymouth and Portsmouth man signed a one-year deal this week with the option of another year after impressing on trial in pre-season.

Tindall worked with him at Weymouth, and both Tindall and Howe know him from Bournemouth, where he had his contract terminated in April after alleged misconduct.

Stewart feels lucky to have a second chance, and intends to make it count: “I’ve known Jase and Eddie for years, since I was 16.

“Eddie was the youth team manager at Bournemouth when I was at Swindon so I’ve played against his team.

“Jason signed me on my first pro contract at Weymouth.

“I’ve known them for a long time.

“I think they’re just seeing the best of me now because I was young then.

“We get on very well and have a good relationship.

“I think they understand me. They took time with me.

“They can see that I want to do well.

“I owe them a lot and I’m sure I’ll repay them.

“It feels brilliant to be at Burnley.

“I had a few problems at my former club, which I can’t talk about, but I’ve moved on from that and now I’m really happy.”

And he is keen to put his past behind him: “A few years ago I got stuck in a little rut but I was young.

“I had a lot going on in my life and I wasn’t giving my whole heart to football.

“I’ve grown up now, I’ve got my girlfriend and child up here so I’m settling down.

“I’m totally focused on football, nothing else is going to lead me astray.

“I know what I want now and I’m going to push for it.”

Stewart has come in as a number three keeper behind Brian Jensen and Lee Grant, but he feels the trio can all push each other on: “Beasty and Lee Grant are amazing.

“From the first day I came in I was made to feel welcome, I felt like I’d been here a full season already.

“They made me feel really comfortable, as did the goalkeeping coach Bill (Billy Mercer).

“I felt like I’d known him for years.

“All the lads have been really good. I feel I’ve fitted in really well.

“Granty and Beasty have both played a lot of league games and they both want to play.

I’m still learning and I’m happy to learn from those two - and I can learn a lot.

“I learn a lot from them in training every day.

“I’m happy to watch them, get up to speed and keep learning really.

“I’m still only 22.

“I know I need to start pushing on a bit because I haven’t played a lot of games.

“I’m a confident goalkeeper when I play. I’ll come for anything, kicking as well.

“You’ll see 100 per cent and that’s all I can give really.”

And he added: “I do want to play obviously but I’ve got two keepers ahead of me who are both experienced so at this moment in time I’m just really happy to learn from them. I will push them.

“I am pushing them. If my chance comes, it comes, and I’ll be really happy. If I play, I’ll play well.

“At the moment those two are fighting for their place first.

“They need to know who’s number one.

“Only one of them can play and you couldn’t choose between them. It’s really hard.

It’s going to be a really hard decision.”