After signing for Chesterfield earlier this month, Dan Gardner was brought on to make a goalscoring debut against Bury on Saturday.
The youngster was brought on as a 79th minute substitute during the 4-0 victory over the Shakers and made an instant impact, breaking from a Bury corner to score his first goal for Chesterfield.
Gardner spoke about his eagerness to get onto the field as the game progressed, he said: “I was looking forward to it all game, I kept looking up at the time to see how long was left. It was great to get on never mind score a goal."
As the 23-year-old advanced on the away side's goal, he had the option to square the ball to an open Marc Richards but instead elected to shoot and after a large deflection from the goalkeeper, the ball eventually crossed the line.
“I thought if I don’t score or give it to him then I’m getting it here so luckily it went in, it felt like it took forever for it to drop down and go in," explained the midfielder.
“It was a great feeling just to get on the pitch and to score a goal, you can’t ask for any more.”
Gardner made two league appearances for Crewe Alexandra in 2010 and after the Bury game was asked how Saturday's match compared. He replied: “That was a long time ago, I was in full-time football for quite a bit so I wouldn’t say it was easier but my fitness was a lot better at the time. Obviously I’ve come from part-time so I’m adjusting to full-time football again."
Chesterfield manager Paul Cook described the youngster's training regime as a 'mini pre-season' but Gardner is thankful for the work he is doing with fitness coach Shane Nicholson. “I need it and he’s been good with me to be fair, he’s pushing me hard but he’s a good fitness coach," he explained.
The former Celtic and Halifax Town man joins high-flying Chesterfield at a time where competition for places is strong but he is relishing the challenge. “When I came I thought there was going to be some very good players but they’re all top class quality players and the squad’s good enough to win the league.”
“That’s my aim, to give the manager some problems. It’s time to work hard. We’ve got a great squad so I’m happy with the way it’s going.”
To watch the full post match interview, log on to Spireites Player.