'˜It still hurts me' - Spireites youngster wants to use last season as fuel
Joe Rowley still feels the pain of last season's disastrous events, but hopes it will be the fuel to fire Chesterfield back into the Football League.
The Spireites prospect has experienced two relegations in his teenage years – a less than ideal start to life in senior football as he readily admits.
But with 35 Football League appearances, five senior goals and the knowledge of what it’s like to play in front of 31,000 people, his CV more than matches up to most 19 year olds in the game.
“You could say that I’ve got a lot of experience for my age,” he said.
“It’s not the best start, but I’ve got to learn from what happened in the two previous seasons.”
By the time he made his senior debut in the 2016/17 campaign, Town were all but relegated.
But, having overcome a broken shoulder, sustained last summer, he played a full part in the first team’s League Two campaign from October onwards.
Any physical pain stemming from the 2017/18 season will long since have healed, but the mental wounds remain.
There were times last season when he was visibly upset on the pitch or on the bench after poor results that eventually, inevitably led to Town’s demotion to non-league.
“It still hurts me, to be honest,” he admitted.
“But I can use that, and the players who were here last season can use that, put it into this season and move on from there.
“I can learn a lot from it. I think everyone can, and we have to make sure we put it right this season.
“I can put it right.”
Rowley, released by Sheffield United, has spent six years with Chesterfield and evidently now considers himself a Spireite.
He’s desperate to repay the club for kickstarting his professional career by playing a key role in this season’s National League promotion bid.
“The club means pretty much everything to me, it gave me a start in my career,” he said.
“I’ve had so many opportunities so early on.
“I’ve got to thank the club for that, even in the youth team I got chances when I was really young and playing in the first team was a dream come true.
“Playing in front of 20,000-plus was what I’ve always wanted to do.
“I owe the club everything.
“It means a lot to me and I hope I can help it get back to where it belongs in the Football League.”