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INTERVIEW: You never stop learning

Shaun Brisley looks ahead to pre-season

12 June 2017

We caught up with defender Shaun Brisley as he took a look back at last season and a look ahead to a clean slate and pre-season training at the end of this month.

“It was obviously enjoyable to get into the play-offs,” he told us. “We had that spell where we were third and looking strong before we hit a patch where things weren’t going right for us. We turned it round in the end and I think the play-offs were what we deserved.

“In those games it can go either way and in the end it was tough to take. We’ve had a while to reflect on it and we’ve just got to move on now. We’ve got to put it behind us and hopefully put it right next season."

“There are always lessons to be learned and I think it’s important we do that," he told us. "We’ll obviously look back at what we could have done better last season, and what we did well, and we'll put it all together before we go again next year.

I’ll look at everything I can to help me improve as a player next season ...

Shaun Brisley

“That will be the same on a personal level because you never stop learning. I’ll pick up on the things I need to work on and look at the areas where it didn't go well for me. I’ll look at everything I can to help me improve as a player next season."

“I had a difficult start to the season, when I picked up the injury, and that knocked me out of the flow a bit," he explained. "It was frustrating but touch wood it was the only time I’ve ever been injured during pre-season. It's a nightmare because you think you’re getting up to a level fitness wise where you’re feeling sharp again, then the injury takes it all out of you.

"I had a few weeks out of things which put me back to square one again really and obviously I then had to rebuild. It's difficult but it’s part and parcel of the game. You aren’t going to go through your whole career without picking up a little niggle here and there and you’ve just got to take it on the chin.

“Once I got back the team were doing really well which meant I had to bide my time before I got my chance. When I got it, I really enjoyed playing in the team because it felt like we had something really special going. It looked like we could kick on and get promoted, so I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next season."

With another year of his current deal left to run he admitted that he still feels he has something to prove when he gets back to work in July.

“I think, however many games you play, you’ve always got things to prove," he said. "You can always improve as a player. I think there are areas within my game that I can improve on and I think there's a lot more to come from me yet.

“Knowing you’ve got a contract for the season ahead does make your summer a little bit easier. I know I can relax, I’ll blow off a bit of steam then get back to working hard again so I make sure I’m fit and that I come back in flying.

“I didn’t play many games towards the back end of the season so I’ve only given myself a couple of weeks rest, where I’ve only done upper body stuff in the gym.

"I’m back working my legs now. I didn’t want to rest for too long because I want to make sure I come back fit and ready to go. The days where players could have a full six weeks off are long gone. Personally I know if I don’t do anything for that long I’d come back really unfit!

"Everyone is bang at it now and you’ve got things like sports science involved. Everyone wants to do well for themselves so you’ve got to make sure you come back raring to go."

As to whether or not the team can go one better next season, he said: “If you look at teams like Portsmouth and Plymouth, they didn’t make it in the play-offs the season before and they went up automatically this year.

"They’ve used the pain of missing out to help them push on and I don’t see why we can’t do that as well. We know we're a good side and the gaffer will be adding to it as the summer goes on."

And as for his own highlight from the season just gone, he told us: "It has to be that goal against Yeovil. It surprised me, let alone everyone else, because it was on my left foot and it just flew over the keeper.

"It was a nice goal to get but I can’t believe it only finished third at the end-of-season dinner! I thought I was robbed by Joycey but it was nice to see him get the award in the end.”

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