FIT-AGAIN Adam Henley admits he feels he has a point to prove after two ‘terrible’ years.
The right back emerged as a player of some promise after bursting onto the scene as a 17-year-old when Rovers were in the Premier League.
But following the club’s relegation to the Championship Henley has suffered with injuries.
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The Wales U21 international spent the best part of nine months on the sidelines with hamstring problems before ankle ligament damage ruled him out of the final 10 games of last season.
But Henley is now fit and raring to go after returning to pre-season training early in order to try and finally put his injury nightmare behind him.
And having rediscovered his fitness the 20-year-old wants to rediscover his form and earn his place in Gary Bowyer’s starting line-up for the big Championship opener at home to Cardiff City on August 8.
“It’s good to be back fit and healthy,” said Henley, who marked his comeback from his latest layoff by playing 45 minutes in Rovers’ 4-0 win at AFC Telford United on Saturday.
“I came back early and did an extra couple of weeks and now I feel really good, really sharp and 100 per fit, which is something I’ve not been used to.
“It’s been a terrible couple of years with injuries. It’s been hard to constantly come back from them but hopefully I can get a run going and keep myself fit and healthy for the full season.
“I have to remind myself that I’m still young when I think back a few years ago when I was playing in those big games.
“But the next game is always the biggest and now I’ve got to keep working at my game and try and get myself in the team for the Cardiff game.
“I really feel this year I have a point to prove. I’ve been in and out of the team for the last few years but it’s not something I want to make a habit of.
“I want to have that starting spot and play week in and week out.”
Henley will face competition for his spot.
Rovers boss Bowyer has signed Alex Baptiste from Bolton Wanderers on a season-long loan while he also has the option of playing midfielder Jason Lowe, or even winger Ben Marshall, at right back.
But Henley insists he is relishing the competition.
“It’s always good to have competition as it can only make me better battling it out against more experienced players,” he said.
“It’s something I welcome – whoever it is – because it’s good for the team.”
Henley, who is part of the Rovers squad currently undergoing warm-weather training in Portugal, added: “There’s nothing I can do about the injuries now – I’ve just got to try and come back stronger.
“As annoying as it has been, it’s all good for the experience and hopefully I can use what has happened to help me in the future.”