Conor Marshall is determined to put his injury frustrations behind him by holding down a regular slot in Boston United’s starting XI next season.
The 21-year-old’s campaign was brought to an abrupt halt in March when a collision with teammate Junior Konadu saw him suffer a fractured cheekbone and eye socket.
“I’m fully recovered, back in the gym and looking forward to next season already,” Marshall told The Standard.
“It was a frustrating end to the season for me.
“Not just because we got so close to the play-offs, but also because I wasn’t playing.
“There’s nothing worse than being in the stands watching and not being able to get involved in the game.
“I can’t wait for the new season to start. You always think you need a holiday at the end of the season, but you soon start to miss playing and training.”
Before that collision, Marshall had featured in 40 consecutive matches for the Pilgrims, utilised as a midfielder, central defender and as a full back.
Next year he is targeting even more appearances for the Pilgrims, but he wants to make a position his own.
“I felt like last season was a bit stop-start for me,” he added. “I played in a lot of different positions and didn’t really know where I would be playing each week.
“My target for the season is to get a place in the team and make it my own. But I realise that if there are injuries or changes to the side that I may be asked to play elsewhere.
“I’d like to have a regular position, but for me the most important thing is that I’m playing and doing my bit for the team.”
It was United manager Dennis Greene who first thought of using Marshall as a central midfielder - an experiment in pre-season which paid off for much of the campaign.
And after getting a taste of life in the middle, the former Grimsby Town trainee - who has agreed to remain at York Street next season - admitted he enjoyed the experience.
“I have to thank Dennis as he was the first person to ever put me in that position,” continued Marshall, who comes from a footballing family - his grandfather was on the books of Sheffield United as a youngster - and grew up watching his dad play in the heart of midfield in local leagues.
“It’s the position everyone really wants to play in. The best players in the world are always midfielders and it’s where most of the action is.
“I’d be happy to keep playing there. It’s nice to get a tackle in before pushing forward and getting a shot in on goal.”
Scoring goals is something Marshall is eager to add to his repertoire, after netting three times in his two-and-a-half seasons with United.
He added: “Last season we relied a lot on Ricky (Miller) and Newsh (Marc Newsham) for the goals.
“I think we need to score more goals from other positions.
“Scoring goals is something I’m definitely going to be working hard on in the future.
“It’s always a good feeling when you score a goal.”