SE­NIOR EN­JOYS EV­ERY MO­MENT

In­jury woe in the past for U’s winger

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Andy Baber

RIGHT wing, left wing or just in be­hind the striker – Colchester’s Court­ney Se­nior doesn’t care where he plays as long as he’s mak­ing up for lost time.

The 21-year-old missed the whole of his first sea­son with the U’s, the 2016-17 cam­paign, af­ter rup­tur­ing his an­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment in a pre-sea­son friendly for the Un­der-23s.

But af­ter a year on the side­lines, the dy­namic Brent­ford academy prod­uct has gone from strength to strength and, this term, has proved a key cre­ative ful­crum as Colchester have evolved into gen­uine pro­mo­tion con­tenders.

And while he has fea­tured in sev­eral po­si­tions since mak­ing the move to the JobServe Com­mu­nity Sta­dium, Se­nior is just glad to be play­ing reg­u­lar first­team foot­ball for the first time in his fledg­ling ca­reer.

“When I first ar­rived, the big in­jury set me back a whole year, then I came into the team around this time last sea­son, so it does feel like I’m mak­ing up for lost time,” he said.

“I want to get as many games as pos­si­ble un­der my belt and so far, so good. I feel like I’m de­vel­op­ing as a player.

“I’m play­ing with some ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers, like Ryan Jack­son,

right, be­hind me, which is a big part of me get­ting more ex­pe­ri­ence be­cause he has been there and done it in the Foot­ball League.

“I’m quite ver­sa­tile, so when I first came into the side I was play­ing just be­hind the striker, like a num­ber ten, and then I’ve been on the left wing and on the right.

“Right now, I’m pre­fer­ring the right wing just be­cause I’m play­ing well there and I’ve got an ex­pe­ri­enced right-back be­hind me.

“He’s talk­ing to me and mak­ing me learn cer­tain things, but I can play wher­ever the man­ager wants me to. I’ll try to do the best I can in any role.”

Ob­sta­cle

Se­nior, who also had a short spell on loan at Wycombe be­fore join­ing Colchester, ad­mits his longterm in­jury trou­bles were a ma­jor men­tal ob­sta­cle to over­come.

But he be­lieves that test­ing ex­pe­ri­ence will only serve him well as he turns his at­ten­tion to main­tain­ing the form that has seen boss John McGreal la­bel him one of the most ex­cit­ing play­ers in the divi­sion.

“When I first came back, it was play­ing on my mind as it was a big thing for me but, in the long run, it’s made me men­tally

stronger – they say these things hap­pen for a rea­son,” said the ver­sa­tile U’s man. “There is al­ways room for im­prove­ment and I think I need to get a few more goals by shoot­ing more and be­ing more pen­e­trat­ing. I also want to get a few more as­sists.

“I’ve set my­self two tar­gets, which are to get ten goals by the end of the sea­son and to play 20 league games, so I’m en route to do­ing both of those so far (pre-week­end he’d notched three goals in 14 league games).”

A poor start to last term meant Colchester were play­ing catch-up from the off but they have had no such prob­lems this sea­son. They were third head­ing into yes­ter­day’s game at New­port County.

“We’re do­ing well but it’s only the start of the sea­son,” said Se­nior. “We’ve still got a long way to go and we’re all fo­cused on get­ting pro­mo­tion – but we’re not push­ing it too much.

“We’re just tak­ing it game-by-game, get­ting wins and points.

“You never know what’s go­ing to hap­pen in the fu­ture in foot­ball.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

UP TO SPEED: Colchester’s Court­ney Se­nior

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