Matty Platt says he has improved as a player from his two contrasting loan spells this season.

Platt was out of contract this summer but has penned a new one-year deal to remain at Ewood Park until 2020.

The 21-year-old joined Accrington Stanley on loan last summer, but was back at Rovers in January having failed to make a league start for the Reds. He subsequently joined Southport in January and became a regular for the National League North outfit.

Platt is one of a clutch of central defenders at the club, along with Scott Wharton and Joe Grayson who have both been out on loan this season, and Under-23s captain Tyler Magloire who made his first team debut in March.

“Next season is massive for me,” Platt said.

"Pre-season is my chance to show the gaffer what I’m about and show him what I can do.

“The two loan spells have opened my eyes and definitely improved me. You have to grow up quick when you go out on loan.

“Both on and off the pitch I feel I return to the club more mature."

Platt also spent time on loan at Barrow at the end of the 2016/17 season, but also found game-time hard to come by, before spending the 2017/18 as a regular in Damien Johnson’s Under-23s side, as well as featuring in all three of Rovers’ Checkatrade Trophy games.

His Stanley debut came in a 6-1 league cup defeat to Mansfield, and struggling to break in to the matchday squad, Platt admits it was tough, but an experience he gained a lot from.

He told the club website: “The last two loan spells have been a little up and down, good and bad, but I've learnt a lot during both of them and I’ll look to build on those experiences next season.

“You have to learn from everything. I didn’t play as much as I’d have liked at Accrington, but even then you learn from being in a first team environment.

“Just seeing the different ways clubs do things, you can take different bits from every club to improve things.

“When you’re not playing then there’s nothing worse. But you have to work through it and when you do get a chance you have to take it.

“You need to take the opportunity and that should be the motivation, to prove yourself."