Sam Wedgbury on his hopes of playing for Chesterfield again this season and how he stays so positive
Sam Wedgbury hopes to play some part in the final games of the 2018/19 season after a frustrating start to life as a Spireite.
The midfielder, signed in the summer, played just three games before suffering a serious knee injury.
Half a year on the sidelines followed, but the end is finally in sight.
Chesterfield won’t rush the 30-year-old back into action according to assistant manager Glynn Snodin, but it’s no surprise he would be delighted to play football before the season is out.
“I’m not putting any pressure on it, I’m not one to go and put things out in the press,” he said.
“But if I could try and get a few minutes before the end of the season, if selected, I’d be more than happy.
“I’m 30 now, I’m hungrier than ever to come back and help the team and the gaffer and Glynn and staff.
“I want to come back as fit and strong as I can, without any blips or little niggles, so I’m working really hard on my strengthening.
“I’ll be back.
“The last couple of games would maybe be realistic, but it’s a case of not running before I walk.”
Wedgbury is doing a bit more than walking, now.
In his own words, he has ‘stepped it up’ with the fitness coach and is ‘hammering’ gym sessions.
It hasn’t been easy, watching his new club struggling in the National League, but Wedgbury has been cited by team-mates as a real source of positivity.
“You’ve got to be mentally tough,” he said.
“For all my knee hasn’t been great, I’m fortunate I’ve got a family at home, I’m fit and well, I can’t really moan.
“I look at the positives away from football that keep me going – family has been massive, my wife Alice, her family and my family.
“You want to be out there helping the lads, I get on with them all so well.
“But what I try and do is be as positive as I can and try to let it rub off on them a little bit.
“It’s a lonely journey, you’re in the gym a lot on your own, but when I’m round the lads I’m never negative.
“The other injured lads are always as positive as they can be.”
But there’s a limit to how much Wedgbury can be around the squad as they prepare to go out and play on a Saturday afternoon.
He’s made a habit of wishing them luck, them making himself scarce.
“The gaffer is pretty open, but obviously you don’t want to be around too much on matchdays,” he said.
“I try and just say good luck to the lads before, then go in after, but I leave them to focus on their job and what they’ve got to do.
“I don’t want to be a burden on anyone, I keep myself busy upstairs, meeting and greeting supporters.
“It’s frustrating not being able to play when you sign at a new club, getting injured after the third game.
“It’s really killed me this season.”
Though almost the entirity of this season has been a write-off for Wedgbury, he’s already looking forward to next season and what will be a fresh start for him under John Sheridan.
He’s relishing the prospect of the same clean slate his team-mates have been afforded since the manager’s arrival.
“The gaffer has said a lot of times here it’s a clean slate for everybody,” he said.
“You’ve seen it with the lads who were frozen out before, they’re back in the team.
“At the end of the season we all come back and we’re on an even keel.
“I’ve just got to make sure I come back fit, strong and ready to go, then get in his plans.”