Colossal Chapman up for the challenge
AARON Chapman did not begin playing competitive football until the end of his teenage years, but today will walk out in front of a televised audience when Bristol Rovers welcome Oxford United to the Memorial Stadium.
Apart from the odd game at school, Chapman did not play football until his breakthrough with Goole and, later, Parkgate.
The 6ft 7in stopper’s displays caught the eye of Chesterfield in 2011. However, a trial at Norwich City saw them end their interest, assuming he was on his way to a permanent deal at Carrow Road.
But it wasn’t until he showed up at Belper Town in the Northern Premier League Division One South during the 2012-13 campaign that the Spireites realised he hadn’t actually joined the Canaries.
Chesterfield signed him in 2013, just before his 23rd birthday and after temporary spells at Chester and Accrington Stanley, where injury ruled him out for nine months, he signed for Rovers on a one-month loan deal.
“I was playing a little bit through school and the odd weekend with mates, but nothing concrete,” said the 25-year-old.
“The hardest bit for me when I went pro was training every day due to the affect on your body.
“I kept getting little niggles and injuries but after a couple of months I got used to it.”
Chapman has played every minute since he joined and will almost certainly be in goal against Oxford on Sunday in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
It has been an ideal start for a player who missed the majority of last season due to an ‘ankle disorder’.
“I am just happy to be playing games again and I want to get back to winning (after the 2-0 defeat to Leyton Orient),” Chapman added.“The gaffer (Darrell Clarke) has Rovers playing well, they have been together a long time now and they have a massive chance to do very well.
“There is a winning mentality here and when you have that it is easy to settle in.
“You always look forward to games but after a loss it gives you that bit extra as you want to bounce back.”