Cameron John has enjoyed a seamless transition from under-23 football to League One and is reveling in his Football League environment at Doncaster Rovers.
The defender made a loan move to the Keepmoat Stadium in August, alongside team mate Niall Ennis, and has hit the ground running in South Yorkshire, claiming the plaudits for his performances for Darren Moore’s side. The 20-year-old, who impressed for Wolves’ under-23s last term, recently spent time back at Compton Park receiving treatment on an ankle injury, but has now returned to the League One side and is itching to get back on the pitch.
I’ve found it quite enjoyable and interesting. It’s been a new experience for me to go out on my first loan to League One and I’ve felt like it’s been a good experience. In the games I’ve played, I feel I’ve done well, and I’ve showed my qualities against good opposition. We had quite a tough start to the season, but it’s been something for me to build on.
It’s totally different to the under-23s. It’s a lot more physical, you’ve got a lot of strikers bigger than you, potentially stronger than you, and they have a good football IQ. It’s been a good learning experience and you’ve got to be concentrating for the whole 90 minutes because you can easily have one lapse in concentration, and they’ll pounce and score. So, it’s been great for me to stay switched on for the whole game, to know my job and my role.
Last year you could maybe get away with strikers missing three or four chances, whereas in League One strikers don’t really need too many chances. They might have one or two, and most likely score, so it’s been a great learning curve going up against these players, which has been a goal of mine since last year, to go out and prove myself.
I didn’t really expect to be starting straight away. It was unfortunate that Alex (Baptiste) got injured in the second game of the season and I just had to grasp my opportunity, which I felt I did when I got the chance. I have to keep building, it’s been nice starting and you start to get the continuity of playing Tuesday-Saturday and having that feeling of three points counting every game. I got injured at the wrong time, but injuries are part of the game and I’m looking forward to getting back out on the pitch.
THREE POINT REWARD
It’s a lot more meaningful. The fans are counting on you to make their weekend, they travel up and down the country to see their team win and put in a good performance. It’s been very different and you have to be performing at your best in every game you play because the fans demand it, and also, your team mates, everyone’s playing for something now and you don’t want to be the one to let your team mates down. That’s what you want as a footballer, to have your standards high.
The fans have been great ever since me and Niall walked in the door, they’ve really taken a liking to us. They’ve enjoyed watching me play and always given me support and backing in every game I play. It’s been really nice to have that feeling from the fans. Hopefully when I’m back I can repay their faith.
We’ve played predominantly 4-2-3-1 and in the first couple of weeks I had to get used to playing in a two again, but once I did it was seamless. It’s been fluid, we like to play football on the ground and try to play through the thirds, which is similar to what we were doing at Wolves last year, just in a back four. It’s the same patterns, I could have gone to a team that hit it long, which isn’t my style, but I’ve come to a team that suits me and I’ve been able to flourish, which is what you want in a loan.
HIS TWO GOALS
I’m not known for scoring many goals in my time, but it’s been nice going up for corners and showing my finishing qualities. As a defender, you’ve got to try and add that to your game, be a threat from set pieces. If I can keep adding goals it’s going to be good for my future, but I didn’t think I’d have two already, so it’s been a nice surprise.
It was the day before a game and in training, it was an accident. One of my team mates fell on my leg and my ankle swelled over. It was unfortunate circumstances, especially the day before a game, but it could have happened any day. It’s given me time to refresh myself and get a new sense of motivation back, and now I’m raring to go again. It was a bit annoying at the time because I was playing and building momentum, but these setbacks push you on further.
CHECKING IN AT WOLVES
A lot of the lads have been asking how I’m doing, my team mates, and it was nice to see everyone while I was back. Everyone was so welcoming and happy for me. It was been nice to see everyone again, but I was itching to get back playing and they can’t wait to see me back on the pitch as well.
BEING WITH NIALL ENNIS
It helps having someone I’ve played with basically since I’ve been at Wolves, I’m living with Niall and we get on really well, it’s good having someone you know well with you. It’s made it a seamless transition, moving to South Yorkshire. We bounce off each other and enjoy each other’s company, and we’ve been able to help each other on and off the pitch.
Once I’m back playing I really want to help the team again. We’re in a good spot right now, with the games we’ve played at the start of the season, and I feel like we’re going to be fighting for the play-offs. That’s the goal, that’s the aim, I really want to help the team push for promotion, whether that’s through the play-offs or automatics, hopefully I can have a part to play.