Kendrick releshing return to Darlington with Mansfield

JOE Kendrick is looking forward to his return to Darlington with Mansfield Town on Saturday and is loving every minute of being a full-time professional once more.

The Irish left back was signed from Bray Wanderers, where he was part-time, but he was full-time before that and had two years at Darlington as a youngster.

“I played there for two years under Dave Hodgson and is it was an experience as I seemed to play in every position apart from left back.,” he said.

“I had just come back from playing in Germany and was only young. I found myself thrust straight into the spotlight. My second season was a lot better and I enjoyed it.

“Playing in that big, empty stadium, as a home player you get used to it.

“I am sure our fans will get behind us there as they have been excellent so far in the first few away games we’ve had.”

Kendrick admitted that playing part-time has once more made him appreciate how good it is being a full-time pro.

“I am playing okay but it is going to take my body a bit longer to get back into it properly,” he said.

“It is a great life being a full-time footballer. In Ireland I was working all day in the building trade until five or six at night then going off training.”