Scunthorpe United full-back Mason O’Malley says the club’s relegation to the National League this season has been a difficult one to take as a collective.
As the Iron prepare to face Hartlepool United on Saturday afternoon, their final home game of the 2021/22 campaign, O’Malley believes the experience can only benefit him as a professional moving forward.
“It’s been tough as it’s been something I’ve not yet experienced yet so far,” began the 20-year-old.
“It’s been a stop start season and frustrating one for me individually but hopefully come the end of the season I can give my legs a rest and come pre-season and the next I can fly through and get plenty of games under my belt.”
Keith Hill’s side were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Bradford City last weekend, with the Under-21 Northern Ireland international making a return to the side via the substitutes' bench late on.
Coming on in place of winger Cameron Wilson with just 18 minutes remaining, the former Huddersfield Town youth has reflected on a difficult season not just as a team, but also individually too due to injury.
“It’s been tough being in and out, having that four-to-five week period where I haven’t played at all but it’s good now to get some minutes in the legs and it felt nice and good to be back out there with the team really.
“I started well following my first season and this season I really wanted to push on.
“This season has slowed down a bit and that’s down to injuries as I guess these things happen. A lot of players go through these things and I’ve been unfortunate with it really. Hopefully we can say that next season will be my season.”
With the side now turning their attention slightly to what lies ahead next season, O’Malley has previewed his team chances, insisting there will be even sterner tests ahead during the upcoming summer months.
He said: “It’s going to be hard work. I really wanted to get fit for the end of the season so I wasn’t rehabilitating in the off-season.
“Hopefully I can give my legs a bit of a rest which they’ll need but also then I’ll also be working hard to ensure that I’m ready for pre-season as well.
“When you look at those teams down there, there are some really good teams and it’s going to be tough.
“You don’t see it much where teams drop out and come straight back up but I think that’s going to be our aim, we’ll be looking to do that and bounce straight back up as soon as possible.”
See much more from Mason O'Malley and Keith Hill on iFollow Iron.