Having made a goalscoring return from injury for our U21s on Friday afternoon, Aiden Marsh says it was amazing just to pull the red shirt on once more.
The young striker has been out since mid-September after fracturing his foot whilst out on loan at Scunthorpe United, but was back doing what he does best as Tom Harban’s side entertained Birmingham City in the Professional Development League.
“It’s just nice to get back out there really in a Barnsley shirt – it’s been a while since I’ve put it on, so I’m delighted to be back and delighted to score as well,” smiled the 19-year-old.
“I’m a little bit tired, but it comes with playing games and minutes. I think there’s only so much you can do before a game, fitness-wise. It’s never really the same, but you’ve got to play games and that’s what I want to do.”
It has been a difficult few years for Marsh, who has suffered his fair share of injuries after breaking into the senior set-up following a number of eye catching displays at academy level.
Involved during the return to play in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, the striker tore his hamstring the day before we travelled to Brentford and has experienced a few setbacks since.
However, he’s back with a bang and believes he is mentally stronger for what he has endured.
“I’ve been pretty unlucky with injuries,” conceded Marsh. “I had my hamstring when I was 16 – I was just breaking through then, and it halted proceedings for a year.
“This was a bit of a freak accident; it’s a really small bone in my foot, so it’s a very low chance of doing it, so pretty unlucky there.
“But it makes you stronger – it’s how you bounce back – and I wouldn’t have changed what’s happened to me so far; you’ve just got to move forward with stuff.
“I think it builds you not only as a player, but as a person. You become mentally stronger.”
These lengthy lay-offs afford players time to improve their physique in the gym, and that’s something that Marsh has certainly taken advantage of.
Gone is the feisty little 15-year-old who burst onto the scene all those years ago – the forward has grown like a weed and is a physical presence, too.
“I’ve always been quite a stocky kid, but I’ve been spending quite a lot of time in the gym to try and really come on because when you’re playing out there with big, strong players, you’ve got to be up there and muscling them,” he insisted.