Steps Up: Ian Maatsen

Ian, heading towards the end of the season, how has the whole loan experience been for you so far?

‘At the beginning the deal happened very quickly, and I had to make a decision within 24 hours with Chelsea, my parents and agents. My first few months were very different because I used to drive into Cobham with my team-mates and within a day I was seeing different faces, but it went well. The boys took care of me and were very welcoming.

‘Outside of football I had to look for an apartment to stay in and live on my own for the first time. It was a bit new for me. I was so used to living in digs with Pierre [Ekwah-Elimby]. Games and training were very different also but playing with guys who are older and have more experience in the game than me has been good.

‘Once I got my first minutes, I was settled. I just wanted to work hard and show my best self for the team. I started to play more and more and become a part of the team and it’s been going really well – I didn’t expect it.’

What have been some of the biggest and main differences between being at Chelsea and Charlton?

‘Academy football and League One football are completely different. Although winning at Chelsea is a big part of our club, the three points in League One mean so much more to the guys here at Charlton.

‘Another difference would be the stadiums. While I have been here at Charlton, we have played at some good places like Hull, Sunderland and Portsmouth. When the fans came back for a short while it was really good to have them – they give you some extra power and more confidence on the pitch. There were times when they were really behind us and it just makes you think, this is why I want to play men’s football.’

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