Spireites midfielder Aaron Sennett-Neilson says that he’s ready to return to action after a month out with a meniscus injury.
The winger is back in the youth team squad for their trip to Burton Albion tomorrow (11am), having had to swap football for rehabilitation work in the gym over the last few weeks.
He said: “I’ve had some tears in my meniscus, they were degenerative tears over time so it got inflamed and got swollen but it’s a lot better now.
“It was just a 50/50 challenge in a game, I felt it straight away as soon as I game out the tackle. I managed to play on and that’s what made it worse!
“I’ve just been in the gym, the first team physios helped me out a lot with my balance, my stretch work, doing the activities and exercises have really helped me out.
“I’ve been going on the 'Game-Ready', which is like ice and compresses my knee and that took down the swelling down a lot.”
The injury came at a bad time for the youngster, following promising pre-season form.
“It was frustrating,” the winger said. “I thought I did alright in pre-season, I scored my first goal and got a few assists as well so I was doing a lot better than I was last season.
“I am back in the squad, they’re just easing me in, I’m on the bench so I might get 20 minutes or something just get some minutes under my belt.”
Having recently returned to training under new coach Miguel Llera, the midfielder says he’s enjoying life under the Spaniard, he featured in Llera’s first game in charge against Tranmere Rovers back in August and has been impressed with his philosophy.
“He’s very good, he gets us playing very quickly and gets us motivated for playing games so I really enjoy it,” Sennett-Neilson remarked.
Sennett-Neilson’s in his final year as a scholar and knows that he needs to perform in order to earn a professional contract with the Spireites.
“I feel like I’ve just got to do my very best every game,” he said. “Last year I came into games and thought ‘I’ve just got another year’.
“But this year it’s really hit me and I’ve realised that and I’ve really got to go out and show what I can do in matches and impress coaches and maybe get a ‘pro’ (professional contract).”
On the pitch Sennett-Neilson believes his best position is on the wing.
He said: “That’s what I like most [playing as a winger] or in behind the striker as well.
“I love cutting in from the left wing but I also love taking players on and getting some crosses in from the right.”
The 17-year-old has been with the academy since being released by Sheffield Wednesday last year.
“I got released from Sheffield Wednesday, so I came here for a trial and luckily I got in so I finished the last two months of the U16’s," he recalled. "I came here as a scholar for the beginning of last season and I’ve been here since.”
With a professional contract up for grabs at the end of the campaign, the youngster hopes to follow the path taken by recent graduates Joe Rowley, Jack Brownell and Charlie Wakefield from youth team to the first team.
“It’ll mean a lot,” he remarked. “All the last two years and from U7s to U16’s I’ve just been working up to this exact moment so it would mean so much.
“It makes me think I’ve got a chance and a lot of confidence because Charlie’s quite a similar player to me, he’s a much quicker player than me but similarly he’s small, he fights so he’s a good player, hopefully I can follow in his footsteps.”
Sennett-Neilson’s immediate focus is tomorrow’s fixture with the Brewers, which is being played play at the English national team’s home, St George’s Park.
“I know they’re a very good team and they like to play on the counter attack so hopefully we can play wide and get past them,” he added.
“It’ll be very good to play there and it’ll be a big pitch so for me as a wide player I’ll be used quite a lot. It’ll be good to just get back out there for my first game back.”