TOBY Savin has described this season as a personal roller coaster, but one he is looking to end on a high.

The 19-year-old started the season so well that when Nathan Baxter arrived on loan from Chelsea he was made to bide his time for the gloves.

They changed hands in December after a 4-3 defeat at Wigan Athletic.

But a season-ending shoulder injury to Baxter during the home defeat to Ipswich earlier this month gave Savin a second chance, and like any good goalkeeper he has grasped it.

"It's definitely hard, especially for a goalkeeper, such a technical position, and coming on when you are cold on the bench, it is hard but it's something that I've learnt and I've sort of learnt the hard way,” he said.

"It's definitely been a bit of roller coaster, but if you were to ask me at the start of the season if I was to get 20 games under my belt at 19 in League One then I'd have laughed.

"That's all any young player wants, especially a goalkeeper, to play at such a high level.”

But Savin admits that in working hard and waiting for his chance to get back in the team he has learnt as much off the pitch as he has on it.

"I think we've all learnt something, especially in training I think he (Baxter) has pushed me,” he continued.

"He's a good trainer and for such a young age he's got a lot of experience behind him, going to all these clubs on loan.

"I think I've learnt a lot on the pitch and off the pitch the way he goes about training.

"You never know when your chance is going to come and you've just got to be ready.

"I just appreciate the gaffer giving me the opportunity and hopefully I can carry on. It's down to the hard work I put in and the gaffer believing in me and trusting me to put me on the pitch.

"Hopefully I've repaid that trust and hopefully it carries on."

But it could have been a very different footballing story altogether had he not had the courage of his convictions as a young teenager.

"To be honest, I haven't really been a goalkeeper for that long. I start in outfield and only became a goalkeeper when I was 13," he explained.

"I was playing outfield for a Sunday team and Wigan scouted me asking me to come for a trial. But I played a few school games and the odd game in goal and me and my dad sort of knew I had a bit of an ability."

Savin, who is a towering 6ft 4, added: "All my brothers and uncles are tall and we knew I was going to make the height, so we asked if I could trial in goal, and then after two sessions at Wigan they signed me so it started from there."

The youngster was snapped up by Stanley in 2017 and progressed through the club's Academy to sign his first professional contract two years later - a deal that was extended to 2023 earlier this season.

Manager John Coleman expects big things of his big goalkeeper, but that does not faze Savin.

"The more pressure I find I think the more I rise to it," he said.

"To hear that it sort of spurs me on to want to do better and do well."

His immediate aim is to push Stanley right into the play-off mix in the remaining 11 games..

"The confidence is still there, the lads all still want to do well," he said.

"Obviously there are a few key players out but the attitude is still there and the main goal is still the same. Everyone's pushing to get in the play-offs. Nothing's changed."