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INTERVIEW: Everything I could have asked for

Fin Back on life at Brunton Park

5 October 2022


INTERVIEW: Everything I could have asked for

Fin Back on life at Brunton Park

5 October 2022

Forest loanee Finley Back has taken to life in League Two like a duck to water, with an important part of his ‘settling in’ process being the fact that he’s played every minute of the club’s 11 league games so far.

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Having turned 20 just over a week ago, he’s slotted into the dynamic wing back role as if he’s been playing regular first-team football for longer than the two months he currently has under his belt.

Speaking this week, he said: “It really is flying by and I’m loving my time here. It’s gone quick, I’ve settled in well, and I’m really happy that I’ve played the amount of games that I have.

“We’ve made a really good start to the season and it’s now all about remaining positive and I’m sure we’ll pick up plenty more points.

“To be fair, I have surprised myself in how it’s gone. I didn’t think I’d settle this quickly but the lads and the manager have made it all really easy for me.

“The fans and all of the people up here are great. Settling in like this has enabled me to perform on the pitch. For a first loan move it’s everything I could have asked for and imagined.”

It goes without saying that an important part of finding your feet for every player is to be out there on the pitch.

“It started from day one when I trained and then played straight away,” he commented. “I’ve got a lot of minutes under my belt and that’s what I need.

“I knew that was what I needed coming into this move and so far it’s turned out really well. Hopefully there’s plenty more to come.

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“I was always confident I’d get into the team if I worked hard. I know that my attitude is good and I feel I can help the team on the pitch. Obviously everyone has to work for their place and I think I’ve done that. Now it’s up to me to keep the shirt while I’ve got it.”

The wing back role is one that needs energy and drive, with both attacking and defensive duties to complete.

“I’m really enjoying it,” he insisted. “I love getting forward and I love defending as well. It’s both sides of my game that I’m looking at working on and continually improving.

“You have to be up there when the team goes forward and back defending, but that’s great. I like being involved in everything and if you’re not tired at the end of games then you’re not doing your job properly.

“I like to think I give it everything in every game and from there you can see what comes. I’m learning a lot every time I go out there.

“We’ve got a good mix of experience and youth, and I’m learning from everyone all the time. The management, the players, everybody is constantly helping me. To be playing first-team football every week, sometimes three times a week, it’s just doing wonders for my development.”

“One of the other things I’ve learned is how to look after my body and mind on and off the pitch every day, balancing training, recovery, games, three games a week, up and down the country, it’s something I’ve not been used to at all,” he added. “I’ve had to get used to that very quickly. Not getting too high and too low, trying to keep a level head, and moving away from home for the first time. I needed it to happen, I’ve learned a lot about that. 

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"I’ve got a place I share with Sonny Hilton. Which was something I questioned before coming here but the club are very good, they assured me I’d have a good place, which I do.

“My family have been up and down for some games which has helped on match days, my friends as well have come up for the weekend to watch some games. I’ve found it easier than I thought I would have, because of the support systems around me at the club.”

With manager Paul Simpson having recently described him as ‘low maintenance’ he confirmed that it’s about doing the job as he looks to keep his starting place.

“We have a good relationship where I know what he wants and he knows what I can give to him,” he told us. “It’s just about keeping on and doing it every week in training and on the pitch.

“If he’s got something I need to work on I’m always open to listening to that. I know I need to improve on every aspect of my game so any help I get is beneficial to me.

“I’d like to think that low maintenance is me as a player. I do my job well on a consistent basis. I just get on with it. I don’t need a kick up the backside, I don’t need praising. I’m very level-headed. If anyone was to ask me what kind of player I was, that’s what I’d say. 

“I’m not naïve to think I’d walk straight into a team, you’ve got to work hard and show the manager he can trust you and that starts in training, every day, on and off the pitch.

“I didn’t expect to play every minute but I think I’ve deserved to given my performances and how I’ve been on and off the pitch. I’ve got the shirt now and it’s someone else’s job to take it off me. 


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“One of the main things I’ve learned so far is that every game is different. You come up against a lot of different types of opposition, and different grounds when you go away from home.

“You have to adapt to that, whether that’s with a change in formation or learning about the player you’re playing against quickly. It’s been really good, I’m picking up so much as we go along, and I just want it to keep going.

“Obviously a big part of what I do is defending, but I feel like I’ve got good relationships with the attacking players, especially Jordan Gibson, I feel like we have a good partnership out on the pitch.

“With Denno in the box you know if you cross it he’ll score at the moment. That’s what I try to do. I also get in there, and the goal will come!

“I’ve had a few chances. I keep snatching at them and I keep telling myself to just hit the target, so maybe I’ve just got to put my foot through it.”

The current run of seven games unbeaten breeds its own kind of confidence, with the players demanding even more from themselves through this next set of fixtures.

“You’ve got to go into every game wanting to win,” he said. “That’s what we do, we go into it thinking about how we can win it. We don’t go into it not to lose; we want to win.

“The draws have been frustrating and we know we had chances to win those games, and we’ve been pushing on at the end to do that where the opposition team have been happy with the point. We’re really positive that the draws will be turned into wins very soon.


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“Saturday, you can feel it out there that it’s a clog but, honestly, it was the third game in a week and we’d put a lot of miles into our legs. That’s not an excuse at all, but it does take stuff out of you.

“Once again it wasn’t a defeat, we’ve lost just once in 11 games. There are plenty of positives and so much to build on with a relatively new group of players. Everything is positive and the feeling around the place is very good. We’re all looking forward to a big game on Saturday.

“It’s been a brilliant start, brilliant platform to build on, and it’s just about winning as many games as we can. We’ve just got to start taking some of those chances, keeping players fit, and we know we’ll be fine.

“It’s very early on, there’s a lot of games until Christmas now, we’ve just got to go on a good run and we’ll see where we are in January.”

On a more personal level, notching up regular appearances can do no harm when it comes to progress being monitored by his parent club.

“I just try to keep my head down,” he explained. “I know they come to watch my games and they offer me advice when they think I need it, but it’s just about me performing.

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“I’m learning how to look after myself and be a good professional. When my loan is up I’ll think about Forest again, but while I’m here I’m just 100% committed to this club.

“It’s my first season in professional football, I have really high ambitions but whilst I’m here it’s all about this football club and getting the most out of it for myself, the team and fans.

“I do have the longer picture in mind but for now it’s just about playing games here, and getting good results on the pitch, and improving personally, both on and off the pitch.

“The support I’m getting from the fans is really helping all of that. They’re brilliant, they really are. The support they give us is amazing and even though the game wasn’t great at the weekend they were still cheering us on and singing away.

“I give 100% and I think the fans can see that. They’re just really good. And it’s amazing to know my family support me, they’ve always been so supportive. Sometimes I wake up and look on Twitter and my dad has put a tweet out about something, and I just think maybe he could keep that to himself, but that’s what dads do, isn’t it!

“He just shows how much he loves watching me whether it’s on iFollow or in-person. He’s been up here loads already and he really likes the people here. He loves coming to watch me and he comes up whenever he can. The support from my family is massive.

“With him being involved at such a high level I have picked up a lot, but my dad always reminds me that it’s my career and I need to learn things myself. He doesn’t push me into any decisions, he obviously gives me great guidance, which has helped me understand how to be a good professional player.

“But in terms of experiences, I’m very much learning them myself and there’s no real input from him on that, he lets me get on with it, whilst helping me when I need it. 

“As much as he was a rugby player he’s a big fan of football as well so he loves coming to watch me. The support I’ve had from my whole family and my friends has been brilliant and long may it continue.”

But does his dad ever hint that he’s playing with the wrong shaped ball?

“I played football and rugby when I was younger but he was always happy for me to make my own decision and do whatever I wanted to do,” he explained.

“As long as I’m happy then he’s happy and he’s always been like that since I was old enough to kick a ball and throw a rugby ball.”

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