As the year draws to a close Bolton Wanderers left back Adam Chicksen reflects on what has been an up and down 12-months in his career.
The 28-year-old was released from his former club Bradford City upon the expiry of his contract in May, following their relegation to League Two.
The defender, capped by Zimbabwe, signed a short-term contract with The Whites in September, which keeps him at the club until January.
Chicksen made his debut for wanderers on the same day and has made 15 appearances for the club in all competitions.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute”
Despite the lows of being without a club mid-way through the year, Chicksen is finishing on a high at the University of Bolton Stadium.
“It’s been an up and down year due to the fact I was out of a club in the summer but then I’ve had the high of coming here to Bolton and getting back to playing football.
“I’m really happy at the moment, I’m just enjoying my life at the minute, I’ve got my baby, got my wife, everyone’s healthy, I’m playing games and I’m happy.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute; I’ve come in to meet the demands of what the manager and club are requiring. I’ve loved playing games, loved the amount of effort and work we’ve had to put in and I’m just enjoying my time.”
“My ambition is to stay here”
With the end date of his short-term contract fast approaching, Chicksen is looking to become a permanent fixture for The Whites.
“I’m just focusing on performances day to day, whether that be training, gym or games and let that take care of itself.
“My ambition is to stay here other than that I just need to perform in order to give myself a chance to get a contract.
“I want to play games and I want to play well, nothing else matters to me but playing games and playing well for this club.”
“It’s a mental game this time of the year”
The Christmas period is extremely busy for a professional footballer, with fixtures coming thick and fast with little time for recovery in-between.
Wanderers festive schedule see’s them play four games in 12 days and Chicksen believes that the squad needs to be mentally prepared for the thick run of games.
“I think it’s a mental game this time of the year and the mental toughness needs to be there because your body goes through a lot of demand, so you need to be mentally prepared for quick turn arounds.
“Even if you’re hurting you need to get your head around that because you’re going to have games coming thick and fast and if you can get out of this Christmas period with points or a run then you’ve done well as a team.
“You need to take extra care of yourself at this time of year but still need to put in the same effort, you’ve got to give it 100%, you can’t just think oh ill save it for the next game, it’s full throttle but you still need to do all the right things for the quick turnaround for the next game.
“I love being in the thick of the action, in the past the demands not been there for me, possibly from not playing or being selected, so for me a game a day over Christmas would suit me.”
“We can turn over most teams in this league”
Wanderers welcome Shrewsbury Town to the University of Bolton Stadium for their last game of 2019 in the Sky Bet League One.
Chicksen has played against Shrewsbury on a number of occasions throughout his career and despite them being higher than The Whites in the table, believes that on their day wanderers can beat anyone.
“I think they’ll be a difficult game, some seasons I’ve had them playing quite direct and more recently they’ve tried to play a bit more from the back.
“I think we can beat them of course I do; I think if we go against most teams full throttle then we can turn over most teams in this league, it’ll be a tough game but were here to win games.
“I think our home record speaks for itself, were good at home and we love playing in front of these fans. We’ve struggled to do it away from home but at home we’ve been on the front foot and aggressive, which some teams can’t handle and that’s what gets you wins.
“Your home patch is where you’re going to pick up all of your points, away from home we need to be mentally strong and resilient but at home we can go for the throat, we’re here to win games and score goals for the fans.”