BY EDMUND BRACK
AFC Wimbledon winger Courtney Senior is keen to extend his stay with the club beyond January.
The Dons signed the 25-year-old South Londoner as a free agent on a short-term deal on October 1 after Nathan Young-Coombes suffered an injury that looked set to rule him out until December.
Senior’s current contract at Plow Lane expires in January.
“It will be good for me,” Senior told the South London Press when asked if he wanted to stay with the Dons beyond the end of the calendar year. “I’ve been out for ages so I need to get as many games as possible. I need to make sure I keep trying to get into the starting lineup.
“The gaffer didn’t really tell me anything I should do [to earn the contract extension]. He just told me to be positive and do what I do best. He signed me because he thought I was sharp and could get the ball back – something they didn’t have in the squad.
“I found life here really nice – the boys really helped me settle in. I’m a local guy from Croydon so starting here was nice.
Senior, who was at Crystal Palace for a spell as a youngster, moved on to Brentford academy and made his first-team debut for them aged 18 in their 4-0 first round defeat of the League Cup against Oxford.
But when Senior discovered the West Londoners were set to close their academy in favor of a B team system in 2016, he left aged 18 and embarked on a League 2 career with Colchester United.
“It was tough – I still had a year left on my contract,” said Senior, who spent five years with Brentford and felt he was getting closer to bigger first-team opportunities.
“When I left it was by mutual consent, but I wasn’t happy the club was closing the academy so I embarked on a new adventure.”
He spent five seasons with the U’s, making 145 appearances in all competitions and registering 26 goals – 12 goals and 14 assists.
Senior joined Newport County on a one-year deal in July 2021. They had badly missed out on promotion to League One after a 1-0 final loss to Morecambe.
Senior suffered a serious anterior cruciate ligament [ACL] injury during pre-season which prevented him from making an appearance.
He said: “When I got the scan results and they told me I had my ACL done, I thought, ‘Why me?’
“It’s strange. It happened to me too after I left Brentford. In my first season with Colchester I also did my ACL there. It was boring, but I got over it, I bowed my head and fought to the end.
“When you’re injured for a long period like this, you’re in the physio room doing the same things every other day, so training every day with Wimbledon is like a dream come true. “
Senior made his first start under Jackson in the Salford game. The majority of his appearances since signing have been as an impact substitute off the bench. He sparked the 3-2 win over Harrogate Town when he helped the Dons equalize in the 84th minute, scoring his first goal for the club.
“It’s hard to come into play, especially if we lose,” Senior said of how he prepares to impact a game in short stretches.
“I’m just trying to do what I do best – take the ball and go forward. It was a good time [to score against Harrogate].
“I was out for a long time so it was good to have a goal.”
Senior has seven games left – including cup competitions – to secure a contract extension with the club ahead of the away game against Sutton United on January 1, 2023.
“I want to stay in shape and keep working hard,” Senior said. “I just want to try and keep doing the right things and get into the starting lineup.”
PHOTOS: KEITH GILLARD