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Raglan determined to keep improving as he adds to his League One experience

16 February 2022


Raglan determined to keep improving as he adds to his League One experience

16 February 2022

Charlie Raglan was part of a Cheltenham Town defensive line-up on Saturday that earned a clean sheet in victory over Fleetwood Town.

The 28-year-old featured in the Robins central defensive three in the win over the Cod Army, scoring the second goal to hit the back of the net for the first time this season, and the first time since an away win at Tranmere Rovers in September 2020.

He has worked his way back into the side after missing two-and-a-half months of action earlier on in the campaign.

This is his sixth different season playing at League One level in a career that's featured from the Northern Premier League to the third tier.

His time out injured a few months ago may have proven frustrating for his lack of involvement on the pitch, but he was determined to turn the situation into something that would eventually help him when he was back fit long-term.

"I had a longer period than I would have ever wished for out of the team and out of the game because of injury," he said.

"During that time it gave me a chance to refocus and aim for when I was coming back I was going to be physically ready but mentally ready and give it my best in the games. It wasn't so much about the amount of games, it was about when I was on the pitch to try and give it my best and achieve what I wanted to do as an individual and that would only help the team. I've tried to do that, whether I've succeeded in every game possibly not, but I am working hard to improve myself as are most other players individually as well as a team.

"You have to turn the situation into a positive. You have to use the time and the situation for what it is. You can't just think 'I'm not playing so I'll sit here twiddling my thumbs'. When you're playing every week you do then maybe miss opportunities that you can actually reflect on what you've done in those games and how you've prepared and how you're doing certain things away from the game. They're all things you can work on while you're not in the hustle and bustle of the games."

In January he marked three years since he first became a Robins player. Initially signing on a six-month loan from Oxford United, he turned the move into a permanent one in the summer of 2019 and has gone onto make 107 appearances in all competitions.

His first two-and-a-half seasons at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium were spent in League Two, but after helping the team achieve promotion to the third tier at the end of last season he returned to a level where he boasts plenty of experience from his time in the division with Chesterfield and Oxford United.

He made the sizeable step up from the Northern Premier with FC United of Manchester to link up with a Chesterfield side managed by Paul Cook in April 2014 - a five league jump up the pyramid.

"I went into it not really looking at the League or the teams, it was just an opportunity to give it a really good go," he recalls from earlier on in his career.

"I can remember having that mentality that the worst thing that happens is I'm back where I started. I didn't mind that but I knew I really wanted to get to where I was getting to at that level and possibly beyond. It was about enjoying it but enjoying it by having a really good go.

"I was lucky enough to make my debut ironically back at Port Vale where I originally started and then I had a really good run in the team at Chesterfield in my first season under Paul Cook. Looking back now that team was really good. That summer we sold Liam Cooper to Leeds, we had Ian Evatt who had played in the Premier League and now manager of Bolton, Tendayi Darikwa went to Burnley with the gaffer, Sam Morsy has captained Wigan and Ipswich, Jimmy Ryan's a great player, Sam Clucas went to the Premier League with Hull and Swansea, Eoin Doyle got a numerous amount of moves and scored 25 goals before Christmas in that season. You had experienced lads like Ritchie Humphreys. You don't realise when you are in it. You just go in and learn and it was a great period.

"I've definitely developed the mental side of the game and I think it is massive. I used to think all the time that young players are this and that. Mentally I've got better and physically as well. That first initial year at Chesterfield went well and the club changed a lot in the second year going into the third year and that was when I moved to Oxford. You go there and you can see the difference - it was a level up in terms of how the club was run - but another great opportunity.

"Chesterfield and Oxford both got promoted the year that I signed. Oxford certainly had aspirations of being at the top end of the league. I can remember that first year there we were a bit disappointed because I think we missed out on the play-offs by four points. At Chesterfield we got to the play-off semi-final and got beaten by the eventual team to win the play-off final, Preston. They both had different budgets and that was probably the reason for the changes at Chesterfield.

"It's not so much about the results or the teams they beat, it was more the players they had and the characters they had and the day-to-day behaviours of these players. That's what drives you on really. At Oxford we had players who have gone and done great things - Marvin Johnson, John Lundstram, Ryan Ledson, Liam Sercombe, Chey Dunkley, Curtis Nelson - so it's not really the quality, it's about what they do and how you can drive it forward because every team is going to have a bad period."

Raglan is set to be involved in the squad once again for the upcoming away matches at Wycombe Wanderers and Ipswich Town. Tickets and away travel are on sale for both fixtures.

You can also buy tickets for the next home games against Crewe Alexandra and Doncaster Rovers which have both been designated as Kids for a Quid matches. Use QUIDKID online to purchase £1 tickets for under-16s.

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