‘I don’t really see myself as a young player any more’ – Woolfenden
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town defender Luke Woolfenden doesn’t believe he should be classed as young player anymore.
The Ipswich-born centre-back made his 50th senior appearance for the club in last weekend’s 2-1 win at Plymouth, becoming only the 17th academy graduate in the club’s history to reach that milestone.
Including previous loan spells at Swindon (in League One) and Bromley (in the National League), he already has more than 100 senior appearances under his belt at the age of 22.
Having started three of the last four games alongside 19-year-old Arsenal loanee Mark McGuinness at the heart of the Blues’ back four, Woolfenden said: “A lot has been made of us both being young but I don’t really see myself as a young player any more.
“I’ve had my two loan spells at Bromley and Swindon, plus I played regularly the whole of last season. I know enough about the game and I would really call myself an experienced player now.
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“Mark’s a good player, good on the ball and in the air, so I’ve enjoyed playing alongside him.
“Plus look at our full-backs. We’ve got Wardy (Stephen Ward) and Chambo (Luke Chambers) either side of us – that’s enough experience.”
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It’s been a stop-start season for Woolfenden so far. He picked up a groin injury in training leading up to the League One opener against Wigan, then was kept out of the side by the in-form duo of James Wilson and Toto Nsiala for a spell.
Just after he got back in the starting XI, for 1-0 home wins against Gillingham and Crewe, he was forced to self-isolate for a fortnight after coming into close contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus.
“The story of my season so far isn’t too great to be fair,” he admitted.
“I started it in the side then I got injured. Once I was fit again I had to bide my time because the boys were playing so well.
“Then, once I had got back into the side, I was forced to miss a big game like Sunderland because I was forced to self-isolate when I didn’t even have coronavirus, which is a bit stupid. But it’s just one of those things you have to deal with.
“I feel good right now. With the self-isolation it took me a bit of time to get back up to speed, but the more games I get under my belt the better I will feel for it.”