Midfield man delighted with progress...WHEN James Baxendale arrived at Banks’s Stadium in August, his only first-team experience consisted of a handful of substitute appearances for Doncaster Rovers and one on loan at Hereford United.
Now the likeable 20 year-old can reflect upon a campaign in which he chalked up 34 outings and weighed in with four goals, one of which – at Portsmouth – made it into the final short-list for Goal of the Season.
“It’s been a really enjoyable season,” he said with a smile. “It’s been my first real season and I have loved every minute of it.
“Being out there and involved has been fantastic and hopefully it will continue next season.
“The lads and the Gaffer have been great and as a team we’ve put in some really good performances. I personally feel we could have finished higher, but it should take nothing away from the fact that it has been a positive season for us.
“The main thing now is to carry this on. The fact that the nucleus of the team is already in place for next season means that we will be able to kick-on straight away when we return to pre-season training.
“The majority of the lads will already know each other and what we’re about, so that can only be a good thing.
“Just missing out on the play-offs makes us even more determined and that can only bode well for us.
“There are some big teams coming into League One next season and there are some exciting fixtures to look forward to.”
For the time being, though, the Yorkshire lad is focussing on recharging his batteries.
“Now is the time to rest the mind and legs,” he added. “I’ll give it a couple of weeks then get into the gym to build myself up ready to go again.
“It’s important that I continue making progress and part of that is making sure that I return to pre-season training at the end of June as well prepared as I can be.”