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Interviews

Jono Keen To Continue Hard Work

13 January 2013

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18-year-old forward Jonathan Wafula was ecstatic to finally make his league debut after a fairytale rise to the Chesterfield first-team and vowed to work even harder to establish himself as a first-team regular in years to come.

The youngster was handed his first appearance for the Spireites in the dying seconds of a 3-0 win over in-form Northampton Town and revealed his delight after a day he will never forget.

It has been a roller-coaster ride for the Alfreton-born  youngster, after he progressed through the Chesterfield College Football Academy in addition to studying for a Level Three Sports and Exercise Science qualification alongside a City and Guilds qualification in working with athletes with disabilities and a Community Sports Leaders Award.

"It's just an amazing feeling," Wafula told Spireites Player after the full-time whistle.

"Even though it wasn't a long time, i'm being noticed for the hard work i'm doing and thank God for it.

"The manager told me to get warmed up but I wasn't sure if I was coming on or not, I had the call from Tommy and he told me to go out there, work hard and enjoy myself.

"It was a good experience, it was a big crowd and i'm hoping to work hard and hopefully get more time to show what I can do."

Wafula is the latest academy graduate to progress to the first team, following in the footsteps of hot prospects Tendayi Darikwa and Craig Clay while both Jack Broadhead and Tim Whittaker also took their place amongst the substitutes against the Cobblers.

Wafula may have only played his part in the final minutes at Whittington Moor, but he is determined to go from strength to strength as the Spireites chase an immediate return back to the third tier of English football.

"It encourages me to keep working hard," he added.

"Even though I haven't been getting on in the past few weeks, if I keep working hard I'll get my chance.

"I prefer an attacking role in midfield or up front, but I was happy with the position I came on today.

"My Mum, Dad and little brother were here today and they  hopefully came on the right day. My Mum has waited for this day for a long time, so hopefully she enjoyed it. 

"It's all a big daze really."

It has completed a miraculous turnaround for Jono, after he revealed he was about to give up on chasing every boy's dream of becoming a professional footballer and he also lauded youth team manager Dave Bentley for reinstalling his self-belief.

"I was at college in my first year and i'd given up on football," Jono revealed.

"My college manager asked me to come and train with the youth team and I thought it might make me a better player for my college.

"Then Dave [Bentley] spoke to me and said he wanted me to play for the youth team, he helped me with what I need to improve and told me that if I keep playing well I'd get a contract.

"I had a job and was at college but it was my dream and I was willing to do anything.

"Obviously people like Tendayi [Darikwa] and Craig [Clay] have been in my position and they said to keep working hard and i'll get there on day, so looking at them there is hope."

You can watch Jono's interview in full exclusively on Spireites Player


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