Wycombe midfielder Nick Freeman has expressed is gratitude to the club after signing a one-year contract extension this week.
The 25-year-old is currently sidelined with a long-term cruciate ligament injury, and has recently undergone successful surgery on his knee in order to aid in his recovery.
With his contract coming to an end in June 2022, Freeman was rewarded with an extra year with the Chairboys to help him focus on getting back onto the field.
"It’s a little bit bittersweet," he said. "I’m gutted that I'm not playing and that I'm injured long term, but I’m also very happy to be able to get a one-year extension.
"I’m so grateful to Rob, Pete and Gareth, and I feel fortunate that they've been kind enough to do that for me."
Freeman joined the club in 2016 from non-league side Histon, and has since gone on to make 130 appearances in light and dark blue.
He's been part of the journey that has seen the club rise from the lower realms of League Two all the way up to the Championship, enjoying every minute of the ride up the Football League.
"The journey here has been amazing," he reflects. "That night at Wembley was probably one of the best nights of my life, so to have gotten to that level with the same core group of lads from five years ago, when we were considered as ‘little Wycombe’ at the time, it was just a dream come true.
"We defied all odds and it was just incredible."
Last season, the midfielder was sent out on loan to Leyton Orient in order to get more minutes under his belt. Since returning, he worked his way back into Gareth Ainsworth's first team plans, starting in the penalty shootout win over Exeter, and coming off the bench in league ties with Accrington, Cheltenham and Lincoln, where he unfortunately sustained his impactful injury.
In those fixtures he found himself taking up different positions on the field, something he was beginning to become acustomed to.
"It's good to learn new positions, learn from other people, and knowing what the gaffer and Dobbo want from me in certain positions," he reveals.
"But it's good to have that in your career, having that versatility to help the team out in other positions, and I was really enjoying it at wingback, it helped me a lot with getting minutes and I enjoyed the position as well."
The injury to his knee will see him on the treatment table for the forseeable future, with his road to recovery set out to help him get back onto the pitch as soon as possible. Thankfully, Freeman is in extremely good hands.
"Lucky for me, I've had a lot of people to talk to at the club who have been through that kind of injury, so they've been supportive with me and have let me know how it's going to go and what I need to expect from it.
"It's been easier than it should have been, and there’s no other place I would have rather had this injury than Wycombe.
"Signing the new deal takes that weight off my shoulders, it’s one less worry for me. I can now just focus on my rehab and getting back to playing as soon as I can. I'm just really happy and grateful that the club have done that for me, and I’m delighted to be here for a year longer."