THE only way is up for Newport County AFC striker Christian Jolley as he aims to repay the fans’ faith and prove he’s not a one-hit wonder.
The 26-year-old star of County’s promotion-winning side in 2012/2013 suffered a miserable campaign last time out.
After a goal in the 4-1 opening day victory over Accrington Stanley last August, Jolley had to wait until April for his second and final goal of the season.
A groin injury sidelined him for months and the former AFC Wimbledon man admits he struggled to regain his form and confidence thereafter.
Now Jolley is aiming to put a nightmare year behind him and help the Exiles improve on last season’s 14th-place finish in League Two.
“It was up there as one of the most frustrating seasons in my career,” said Jolley.
“I did something similar at Wimbledon; I had a good year and then and injury-struck year.
“Then I came to Newport, had a good six months followed by an injury-struck season.
“My career seems to yo-yo at the moment so I’m due a good year this year.
“It started brilliantly for me and the team against Accrington last year but then, two games in, extra-time at Brighton and I found out my body wasn’t in the best place.
“Injuries kill my momentum and my career has proved that I struggle when I get injured during a campaign,” he added.
“My goal is to make sure I don’t get injured and everything else should take care of itself.”
Jolley, a fans favourite after his goal in the Conference play-off final at Wembley just over a year ago, is also keen to repay the supporters for the faith they have shown in him.
“The fans have been brilliant with me,” he said. “They’ve stood by me all the way through.
“They gave me great support when I first came on loan, then we got the deal sorted out and I had a good six months.
“The past 12 months haven’t been anywhere near the standard I’ve set for myself but not one fan has got on my back.
“They’ve always been supportive and I feel happy here.
“This is my home. I’ve got a flat here in Newport now and I feel comfortable here.
“I hope to get back to playing the way I want to play and the way the fans expect me to play and hopefully we can get back to winning ways together.”
Jolley is set to feature as Justin Edinburgh’s men continue their pre-season schedule with a friendly at Cirencester Town tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).
Midfielder Max Porter will miss the match after he was ruled out for six weeks with a groin injury picked up at Evesham United on Tuesday.
Meanwhile County’s home clash with Exeter City has been moved to Sunday, November 16 (kick-off 3pm).