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"It's great to play for the club I support," says Thompson

Read from the midfielder...

10 June 2019

Ben Thompson couldn't hide his delight after signing a new long-term Millwall contract on Monday morning.

The 23-year-old fan favourite has put pen-to-paper and will now look to be a mainstay in The Lions' midfield for years to come.

Speaking to shortly after signing, the Millwall supporter told of how playing for the club "means something" to him and his family.

"I'm delighted," he said. "I've been here seven years now and to extend that is a great achievement for me. Hopefully the new season can bring some more exciting events, I'm looking forward to it. I'm happy.

"Obviously, it's a dream to play for the club and to do well for them, but it's all come around quite fast. However, I've enjoyed every minute and long may it continue. I just feel that playing for this club means something to me and my family, and [to sign a new contract] is a brilliant achievement on my behalf.

"To play with the players I play with, and to play under the manager is all a bit surreal, but I've been here a while and I've got used to it. It's great to play for the club that I support."

After a few years of featuring in and around Millwall's first XI, Thompson spent the first half of 2018/19 on the south coast at Portsmouth, wasting no time in also becoming a fan favourite at Fratton Park - a time that, according to the midfielder, was a "great learning curve."

"On and off the pitch, things really helped me last season. Going to Portsmouth was a great learning curve for me. I gained lots of confidence, which I needed, and built up more skill on the pitch and played better football.

"I then came back and feel like I replicated that. That's what the aim was, to go out on loan and get the experience, get the games under my belt, then come back and be raring to go in a Millwall shirt. It paid off, we stayed up, and next season we have to be better.

"Going away was massive. I was somewhere I'd never been before, I had a new set of team-mates, a new manager, new staff - it was all a bit daunting at first, but the boys were top class. They made me feel welcome.

"I was living on my own, cooking, cleaning etc, which was something I had to adapt to. All that helps you grow up as a person."

Thompson returned to The Den in the new year, and went on to become an integral part of Millwall's bid for Sky Bet Championship survival, scoring four times in 13 games before his campaign was cut short by injury.

The local hero wants to pick up where he left off when the 2019/20 campaign gets underway.

"I gained confidence at Pompey and could see myself going up the pitch and scoring every time I got the ball. I've practised adding goals and assists to my game over the last couple of seasons, which is obviously key to any football team. If you gain those, you're going to be an important player, so that's what I've been working on.

"Hopefully that continues into next season. I think it's going to be a massive one for me next year. Last season I felt comfortable on the ball and on the pitch, and next year I want to score more goals and get more assists."

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