The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Luke Mur­ray

TWO years of soli­tude has given Mark Mar­shall a taste of re­al­ity – but the Coven­try new-boy is still hun­gry to prove a point af­ter com­plet­ing his drugs ban.

Mar­shall tested pos­i­tive for a banned stim­u­lant af­ter a game for for­mer club Bar­net on Box­ing Day 2011.

But the 26-year-old, who spent his time work­ing as a per­sonal trainer, is de­ter­mined to make an im­pact for the Sky Blues.

“I was a per­sonal trainer in and around the Wim­ble­don and Lon­don area where I’m from and I would of­ten be in the park train­ing by my­self,” said Mar­shall, who has signed a deal un­til June.

“I had to work out of foot­ball; face the fact that foot­ball was on hold and get on with it. And it was great to be able to do some­thing that kept me fit.

“I built up a client base but I al­ways had an eye on com­ing back. I had foot­ball taken away from me but I am young enough to come back.

“The two years seemed never-end­ing. I was al­lowed to go back to train­ing in Oc­to­ber but the last thing I wanted to do was go from place to place look­ing for a club so I waited un­til Jan­uary when the ban was up and thank­fully some­one has given me the op­por­tu­nity to get back in.”

Steven Press­ley ini­tially took him on trial but Mar­shall has made an in­stant im­pres­sion and the City boss says a longer-term deal is on of­fer if he does well be­tween now and the end of the sea­son.

“The lad has come in and we have an agree­ment with him to join us and fur­ther as­sess him,” he said.

“I think he’s go­ing to be a very ex­cit­ing player for us. Prior to his ban which, when you speak to him about and get the de­tail on and see it was very harsh, he was a player very much in de­mand.

“He’s hun­gry, got ex­cit­ing abil­ity and he’s des­per­ate to prove him­self. He’s turned down a num­ber of of­fers to come here and, cer­tainly be­tween now and the end of the sea­son, he’s got the chance to prove to us that he de­serves a longer deal.”

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