IT has been a tough introduction to his first pre-season campaign as a professional footballer for Doncaster Rovers’ teenage defender James Husband.
The former Youth team star, who broke into the first team late last season, has played in all seven pre-season friendlies ahead of tonight’s final warm-up game at Gainsborough Trinity.
“It has been hard training hard almost every day and playing, but I’ve enjoyed it,” said the 18-year-old left-back.
“It’s been a good experience and I need to get more experience under my belt and the only way I can get that is by playing games.”
Husband says he has found it a step up in class playing at first-team level.
“I’ve found that pace is more crucial at this level,” he told The Star. “I gave away a penalty up against a really quick winger in the game against Hull City last Tuesday.
“Fortunately I’m probably not going to come up against anyone better in League One.
“I’m not the slowest of players, and I don’t mind having a foot race against somebody, but pace is hard to defend against.”
As well as proving to be a solid defender, Husband has also caught the eye in attack.
“I like to get forward but there has to be an end product,” he says. “You’ve got to be able to put the ball in the right areas.”
In keeping with the rest of his team-mates, Husband is looking forward to the start of the season on Saturday.
“I’m not fed up with pre-season training because as I say, I enjoy training every day,” he said.
“But I think we are all ready for the start of the season - though we probably need a few more bodies.”
Reported to be interesting Premier League clubs, Husband says he has been pleased with how the new players have fitted in.
“I’ve been impressed by all the new lads, especially Dave Cotterill,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed playing with him down the left. Rob Jones, who we signed from Sheffield Wednesday recently talks a lot during games and it’s helpful to have an experienced defender alongside you.
“It has also been good playing with Tommy (Spurr). He’s had to play centre-back since George (Friend) left but he is one of those players who can play anywhere the manager asks him and do a good job.”
Husband has also been impressed by fellow teenager Liam Wakefield.
“I’ve not been surprised how well he played at centre-back,” he said. “I played alongside him in the youth team for two years so I knew he was good.”