Blackpool’s Curtis Tilt has credited Gary Bowyer and his team of backroom coaching staff for the role they played in his impressive debut season at Bloomfield Road.
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The centre-back enjoyed a superb campaign for the Seasiders, making a seamless step up from non-league having signed from National League side Wrexham last year.
It was his first experience of league football, but the 26-year-old impressed and ended up winning three gongs at the club’s end-of-season awards night – including The Gazette’s player of the season.
But the Walsall-born man, who was delighted with his own displays, says he feels indebted to Pool boss Bowyer and his coaches.
“I feel as though I’ve done great this season, I’ve loved every minute of it,” he said.
“The lads have been great with me, and that goes to the manager and coaching staff too.
“I’ve loved every single minute.”
Tilt, who signed a two-year deal with the Seasiders last summer with a further one-year option, is one of a select few who are contracted for next season.
Five out-of-contract players are still yet to decide on their futures while 10 players were released at the end of the season.
Colin Daniel and Armand Gnanduillet also opted against staying, signing for Peterborough United and South African side Baroka FC respectively.
That means it’s likely to be another summer of change at Bloomfield Road, and Tilt expects his manager to be busy in the coming weeks.
He added: “It was a bit of a sad dressing room because we said goodbye to a lot of people who we don’t know if they’re going to be here next year.
“I think there’s only a few of us who are still signed for next year, so we will see what happens this summer.
“Our work stops here but I’m sure the manager will be busy throughout pre-season to try and get all the lads back and signed up.”
Despite going down to a 1-0 defeat to eventual play-off winners Rotherham United on the last day of the season, Pool will still be able to reflect on a successful campaign which saw them finish in 12th position in the League One table.
That’s quite the achievement for a club that, beset by off-the-field problems, were down as the bookies’ favourites for relegation at the start of the season having only just clinched promotion from the fourth tier.
“I thought we played some good football at Rotherham and I felt we should have scored,” Tilt added.
“We should have at least got the draw, if not nick the win. But it’s been the same sort of story all year – there have been loads of ups and downs.
“But on the whole we’ve done well this season, which you can see when you look at the league table, so we can’t grumble too much.”