Cheltenham Town FOOTBALL Sport

Cheltenham Town academy player Adulai Sambu on how Cirencester loan spell helped his experience

Adulai Sambu hailed the “valuable” experience his loan spell at Cirencester Town gave him after he played a starring role in Cheltenham Town’s progression to the GFA County Cup final.

Sambu spent the first half of the season on-loan at Cirencester Town, scoring 10 goals in 13 appearances for the Centurions.

He started for the Robins in Monday night’s 3-0 win over Bristol Rovers U21s and assisted Elkan Baggott for the first goal.

The 18-year-old reflected on his spell at Cirencester and feels like it’s prepared him for an eventual EFL debut.

“I enjoyed it there, playing against men day-in day-out. It got me stronger, gave me the experience, which is valuable. Coming up against League One players, it’s faster, quicker, more physical,” said Sambu.

“Last season I was playing defensive midfield. I’m versatile so I can play anywhere. I just transitioned from from right midfield to right wing-back and it’s been alright.

“It’s been hard for me, but I just need to get match fitness, push on and carry on what I was doing before.”

Sambu was delighted to play a part in Cheltenham’s progression to the final, adding: “It was a good performance from the boys. It was good to get a few minutes, clean sheet, and onto the final.

“It was a step up, but at the same time we’re playing against people our age. It’s football at the end of the day.”

On his role in Baggott’s goal, he explained: “1v1s are something I’m good at, just beat the man. I looked up and there were people in the box, put it into a good area and Elkan tucked it home.

“It’s a good experience, to get some minutes with them. I’ve been playing with them for one or two years and now we share the pitch at the biggest stage and we win.”

With 10 games left in the League One season and Wade Elliot’s side gaining some breathing space from the relegation zone, Sambu, who made his debut for the club against MK Dons in the Papa John’s Trophy last August, hopes his league debut is around the corner.

“I’m working hard in training and hopefully I’ll get my chance and we can stay in the league,” he concluded. “Just got to carry on pushing on, get a chance and take it.

“From day one he (Elliot) has been helping me. Him, Marcus (Bignot), Ash (Vincent). They know I can push on and be a better player, so they’ve just been coaching me and developing my position.

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