Spence: I Don't Feel Rusty, I Feel Good to Go
Friday, 20th Jan 2017 11:58
The uncertainty is over for Town new boy Jordan Spence after a difficult eight-month exile from football ended this week when he signed a contract until the end of the season.
Spence, 26, has recalled how he coped during his absence from the game that had been his life for a decade after he joined West Ham at the age of 15 and went on to play in the Premier League.
He joined MK Dons on a two-year deal that expired last summer and after their relegation from the Championship he was released.
He said: “It was really tough but I’m not one to sit here and feel too sorry for myself.
“I get to play professional football for a living so I have to put it into perspective. But it has been tough and I’m grateful for all the support I received from the people who are close to me.
“I’ve got a good circle of people who have helped me out. One of my best friends is a strength and conditioning coach at the University of East London. Training on your own in a local gym is tough but I’ve been able to be in a competitive environment with a lot of the athletes there and working hard.
“With the couple of weeks that I spent here on trial in September and October, plus at other places, I’ve been able to get my football in. I don’t feel rusty, I feel good to go and one thing I’ve always been able to do in my career is run around.
“I’ve also been blessed with a decent set of lungs so hopefully that will come in handy, particularly during the early part of my time here and getting back in.
“I’m really grateful to be able to take up this opportunity. It’s not easy when you are not affiliated to a particular football club and you are going along to clubs and having to impress.
“But I’ve managed to do that now. I’ve a number of people I have to thank and lots of people I’ve spoken to about the game – players, staff and previous coaches. I tried to stay as busy as I could throughout the period when I was unattached.
“I wouldn’t say there’s pressure when you go on trial. You become desensitised to going into a new environment with 20 lads and finding space within that.
“In terms of pressure, I know it’s a cliché, but we’ve got to train and play as if every day is our last day. It’s helped to show me that.
“I didn’t know when the next training session or the next match was going to be. Thankfully, that time has passed and I can look forward to some level of stability but I’ll be carrying on with the same sort of determination. I lost count of the trials I had and I don’t want to relive them.
“It’s all water under the bridge and experiences I can learn from. I spent a lot of time with a lot of good people and it wasn’t every trial that didn’t work out because people weren’t interested.
“Other things were involved. But I’m here now and really excited about the future. I always knew that I was going to play somewhere and I’m thankful that it’s here.
“I made quite a few sacrifices and put quite a few miles on the clock but that’s in the past and these are exciting times now. I tried to make the best of the situation I found myself in and now I just want to play.
“Things happen for a reason and if I can look back on that time and say it catapulted me on to do what I hope to be able to do I’m sure that the further away from it I get it will seem more like a positive lesson.
“It has been a time of self-discovery, looking in the mirror and self-motivation and I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to be here.”
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