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Deniche Hill targets Leicester first-team place after signing new deal

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Deniche Hill in action for Leicester City Under-21 (Photograph supplied)

Deniche Hill is looking forward to making up for last time after signing a new contract with English Premier League club Leicester City.

The Bermuda winger, who missed most of the second half of last season with a groin injury, is delighted to have been given the chance to continue his development at the East Midlands club.

“It's an honour to be given a contract extension at Leicester City Football Club,” Hill told The Royal Gazette.

“I would like to thank everyone at the club who continue to believe in me and also thank my family and friends for supporting me during my journey.

“To be given another contract is a massive accomplishment and it makes me feel happy, proud and ready to hit the ground running again.

“Having my contract extended has boosted my confidence and is a massive opportunity for me to try and push for first-team football, especially now that the club has been promoted back into the Premier League.”

The 20-year-old concedes he had concerns his contract would not be extended after suffering with injury in the final year of his initial deal at the club.

“A major concern at missing so much football was that I knew I was coming to the end of my deal, so not playing and being able to prove myself for an extension was definitely a concern,” Hill said.

“Dealing with injury over the last five or so months and not being able to train and play games every day was a tough challenge for me mentally and physically.

“Not being able to do what I love was extremely challenging, but with the support of the coaching staff at the club, my agent and my dad [former Bermuda forward Corey Hill], I was able to navigate my way through.”

Deniche Hill in action for Leicester City Under-21 (Photograph supplied)

Hill was scouted by Leicester City in 2021 while making his debut with the senior national team during their Concacaf Nations League campaign. He then impressed the coaching staff when playing in two friendlies with Leicester’s first team and during several appearances for the club’s under-21 side the following year before being rewarded with a contract.

Leicester were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2022-23 campaign but have made a swift return after winning the Sky Bet Championship last season.

Having regained full health, Hill hopes to cement a regular spot in Leicester’s under-21 squad to bolster his chances of first-team action.

“My goals for next season would definitely be pushing for a first-team debut and establishing myself as a regular starter for the 21s and hopefully kicking on to be more with the first-team lads and hopefully permanently,” he said.

The talented player says his game has improved since his arrival at Leicester, where he had the opportunity to train with the first team shortly after signing his initial deal.

Deniche Hill, left, training with Leicester City’s first team under former manager Brendan Rodgers, right (Photograph supplied)

“I feel my game has definitely improved while being here and being called over by Brendan Rodgers to train with the first team only after a few days with the under-21s and then playing in a few friendlies helped my game tremendously,” Hill added.

“Having the opportunity to train with seasoned Premier players, where six or seven of them had played in the World Cup, was unreal. “To hear them trying to pronounce my name was funny, so they just called me D.

“My ultimate goal is to become a first=team player, whether it be at Leicester or on loan elsewhere, and believing in myself plays a massive part.

“If you have no self belief and confidence you don’t stand a chance because that’s half of the job done. When you have those things, ability and hard work is the other half.”

Before his injury Hill had started to make adjustments and was getting used to playing at the elite level but concedes it was challenging at first.

“At first it took a while adjusting to the pace of the game,” he said.

“But training and being around such high-quality players almost gives you no option but to adjust. If not you will be out of your depth.”

Hill says he and his fellow team-mates get on well together and feels unique as the only Bermudian at the club.

“Me and the lads definitely get along quite well on and off the pitch,” he added. “When it comes to banter or going out together, we really gel well together as a group.

“As far as on the pitch, I feel all the lads back each other, so that plays a massive part in team morale.

“Being the only Bermudian at the club makes me extremely unique. I get to show and bring a whole different side to the club that most people at the club haven’t experienced.”

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Published June 13, 2024 at 11:29 am (Updated June 14, 2024 at 8:28 am)

Deniche Hill targets Leicester first-team place after signing new deal

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