The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS -

PORTSMOUTH’S on­loan left-back Matt Fish reck­ons that ex­pe­ri­enc­ing life as a Non-League player has made him dou­bly de­ter­mined to make it in the Foot­ball League sec­ond time around.

Fish spent four years in part-time foot­ball with Dover Ath­letic after be­ing re­lased by Crys­tal Palace.

The 25-year-old even­tu­ally got a chance in the league again at Gilling­ham in 2011, and he says:“I was at Palace as a kid. Then I dropped down to Non-League foot­ball for three years.

“When I left Palace I was an 18-year-old scholar. I was a kid and quite skinny.

“I didn’t re­ally say a lot and went into men’s foot­ball and played 150 games in four sea­sons at Dover.

“I was play­ing against men; ex-pros who didn’t want to play full-time foot­ball, so dropped into Non-League.

“I was in the chang­ing room with them and play­ing against them.

“It was re­ally good for me and helped me a lot. It did help me grow up. It’s made me hun­gry and kept me grounded.

“It def­i­nitely makes me want it even more after be­ing out of it. I know what it’s like.

“I still feel I can go higher than I am now. Where that will be, we will see.What will be will be. I know I can play higher, though.”

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