‘I always dreamt this day would come again’ - New Crawley Town defender makes first football league appearance in three years
On September 17, 2016, Jamie Sendles-White’s football career was thrown into doubt after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament during a League One match between Swindon and Bury.
Many dark days followed for the then-Swindon defender, who was ruled out of action for 12 months.
Having made just 15 appearances for The Robins, the centre-back wasn't able to restore his place in the side, so had to move on. Following spells at Leyton Orient, Torquay United and St Albans City, Sendles-White is now looking to kick start his career at Crawley, where he has just made his first football league appearance in nearly three years in yesterday’s 1-0 win over Mansfield Town.
Speaking after the game, Sendles-White, 25, said: "I've spent the last couple of years rebuilding my career at Leyton Orient and Torquay. I've put in a lot of hard work to get me back into the league.
"That was always my aim and I'm finally able to say I've got here. I always dreamt that this day would come again.
"There were some hard days where I was in the gym on my own and having two/three operations. There were times I thought it would be hard to get back. I've put the work in and luckily enough I'm back in the league.
"The hard work doesn't stop for me. I want to keep pushing on and keep getting some wins for Crawley. I don't want to think too much about the injury. I try to look forward now."
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Sendles-White said yesterday's victory was a 'deserved three points' for the Reds, with Bez Lubala's second half strike proving the difference between the sides.
"We are delighted as a team, it was a tough game," he said.
"It was a very good team performance. We defended very well and hit them on the counter.
"When we went 1-0 up, they had a go at us but we stayed strong and defended very well as a team. It was a hard earned three points.
"They had their chances but it was a testament to us that we kept going and created a lot of chances ourselves so."
On his own performance and giving Gabrile Cioffi a defensive headache when Tom Dallison returns from injury, he added: "I was happy with it. I was rusty as I haven't played for a while but I was very happy to be playing again. I felt solid and comfortable with Jordan [Tunnicliffe] next to me.
"As a manager that's the decisions you want to be making. It's a big and very competitive squad. We are all pushing each other everyday to get the best out of each other. We are reaping the awards now on the pitch."
"I think fans watching the games are realising we have got a real team spirit there. There is a real togetherness. Hopefully they see that on the pitch and come in numbers again on Tuesday [at home against Plymouth Argyle]."
Victory takes the in-form Reds up to eighth in the table, and level on points with sixth-placed Cheltenham Town, who sit in the four play-off positions.
When asked how far Crawley can go this year, Sendles-White said: "We don't get too carried away and make sure that we get to that 50 point mark. That's our number one target at the minute.
"We need to keep putting on performances like that. Hopefully we can push on.
"We want to keep out feet on the ground. We're focused on that 50 points so we are going to take it day by day and game by game and see what happens."