It’s now getting closer and closer to the start of the season with just under three weeks too go and if one Millwall player deserves to have a good season then it is Shaun Batt.
After two long seasons out injured this will be his first full pre season in three years and at some stages Batt didn’t think he would make it back.
The striker described his situation to me: ” I definitely had doubts about whether it would ever happen but I knew if I stuck at it & didn’t give up it would come”.
Consistent niggling injuries have plagued his time at The Den but he came back, indecently against old club Dagenham&Redbridge. Batt described his return as “Quiet emotional to receive such a great reception from the fans” and “Fantastic to finally make a return to 1st team football after such a long time out.”
I remember this game; all the players came off to abuse, except Batt, who came off to great support after he put in the hard work and it was thanked.
Lions fans will remember Batt’s blistering pace before the injury, but Battman happily told me that he “was worried about losing my pace after being out so long but happy to say that hasn’t been affected & my legs feel stronger now.” Stronger legs added onto his pace; a deadly combination to have as a striker. Plus it’s a main strength that the other Lions strikers such as Henderson and Marquis do not possess.
Batt also told me he met his target was to “Return to first team action” Batt also says hes ready for the new season as he said “I can play as big a part as possible in the first team, hopefully contributing with a few goals too.”
In the past Batt has been used as a winger as well as a frontman but he says “My favourite position is striker.”
Despite this I still see Battman as a good winger due to his lightening pace, but I believe that KJ will pick Batt at striker just to see if he can cope with Championship standard alongside Andy Keogh.
One of the flashpoints with Batt’s injury is keeping his body in shape, but he is in positive mood when it comes too this: “My body is in much better condition. I have my fingers crossed for an injury free season which would be a massive positive”
After two years of recovering from his horrific injury Battman and the medical team at the Den will know how to treat him to cope with the demands of Championship football, with a relentless schedule, (especially at the end of the season) he may have to chose which games he can and cannot play a part in, if it lengthens his playing time overall, Then so be it.
Whatever happens this season I’m sure that the lions faithful will be behind the Battman. It’s less then two weeks until the Crawley cup game, it cannot come quick enough!