Spireites goalkeeper Joe Anyon, says that being on the substitutes bench in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Cheltenham Town was ‘great’, after three months out through injury.
Anyon suffered a broken arm in the Checkatrade Trophy match at Fleetwood Town in December, at a time when he had been enjoying a lengthy run in the starting XI.
Speaking exclusively to iFollow, Anyon said: “It was great to be back, it seems like it’s been a long road back, I’ve not been able to do much handling and diving.
“When the gaffer pulled me over on Friday and said that he would be putting me on the bench, I was over the moon with it.
“I trained that week and I trained well, so if you can train you can play.”
He admits that his spell on the side lines was annoying, particularly after he had started seven matches in succession. Including the penalty shootout win over Manchester City U21s in the Checkatrade Trophy, where he saved two of the visitors’ spot kicks to ensure the Spireites’ passage into the next round.
But despite his disappointment at missing out on match action, the one-time Port Vale man says that being positive around the Proact has helped him through it.
“It was very frustrating,” he remarked. “It was my first run in the team for a while and we’d picked up a lot of points. We were on a bit of a role and to break my arm when I did was really sickening.
“But I’ve had worse injuries, so it’s a case of getting back to basics and getting fit.
“It’s an injury and at the end of the day you’ve got to be positive, there’s no point in being negative around the place, you’ve got to make the most of what you can do and do your best.”
During his time out of the team, Anyon has worked closely with head of physiotherapy and performance Johnny Wilson, whom he heaped praise on.
“Johnny’s worked us really hard, we’ve had long days – really long days,” he explained. “Some of the days have been really testing, but I feel a lot stronger and fitter for it.
“His way of doing things is different from what I’ve had in the past, he’s a great guy and I’ve enjoyed working with him. But I’m delighted to be back on the training ground now.”
Anyon returned to full training earlier this month, and has gradually eased himself back into things, he played in a practice match on Wednesday, and the former Scunthorpe United stopper is targeting additional minutes to regain his match fitness.
“Everything’s going fine,” he said. “I’ve been given the all clear now, so it’s a case of just getting minutes on the ground and the odd game we can get to get my match sharpness back and I can compete.”
Since his last appearance in December, the goalkeeping jersey has been filled by Cameron Dawson, Jake Eastwood and the current incumbent Aaron Ramsdale.
The England U19 international has settled in well after a tricky start at the Proact, and Anyon has been impressed with his performances, though he’s warned the on-loan AFC Bournemouth man that he’s ready to add to his total of 19 appearances so far this campaign.
He added: “He’s a good young prospect and he has a good work ethic, I’ve enjoyed working with him. We get on well and it’ll be a good fight for the shirt.
“He had a good game against Cheltenham, you have to give him credit for that. I’ve just got to be patient and get fitter, stronger and more sharper and then when the time’s right I’ll be telling the manager that I’m be ready to play.”