Tiverton Town skipper Paul Kendall vows to improve discipline
Tiverton Town skipper Paul Kendall has vowed not to miss any more games through suspension for the rest of the season.
Kendall was forced to watch the Yellows labour to a 1-1 Evo-Stik League Southern draw at home to Bishop's Cleeve last Saturday as he completed a two-match suspension.
Mark Saunders' men could have done with Kendall's defensive qualities at Ladysmead, as they relinquished the lead just three minutes after going ahead through substitute Jules Emati-Emati.
The former Bideford and Plymouth Argyle player – who joined Tiverton in the summer of 2011 and has gone on to form a fine understanding with fellow centre-back Tom Gardner – insisted he has learnt his lesson after a frustrating stint on the sidelines.
"I was gutted to miss the game," Kendall said of last Saturday's draw. "That is the last game I want to miss between now and the end of the season because of being suspended.
"It was just one of those things. I'm back now for next Saturday and I just want to get playing.
"I just need to get back to running the games. I've missed more than a month now because of the weather. It has been at least four weeks off football, so I can't wait to get back.
"I like being captain – I like shouting and getting on the referee's back a bit – but I need to stop that now because it is just going to cost me. That's two games now so I just have to get back on it.
"I'm praying Yate goes ahead [on Saturday] because, if it doesn't, then that's another week missing and I just want to get playing."
Kendall's superb form since joining Tiverton has been a crucial factor in the Devon club's push for a Division One South and West play-offs place. But that seemed a long way away for the former Argyle apprentice after he suffered a broken leg playing for Bideford back in 2010 – ironically, against Tiverton.
But, after taking some time to recover match-fitness, he has gone from strength to strength in the Yellows' back-line, becoming a lynchpin in a mean defence.
Kendall thanked Saunders for sticking by him as he regained form and fitness.
"I'm feeling really good and am the fittest I have been for a while," he said. "I've got a lot better and the manager has stuck by me from the start and I just feel I am getting to my potential and where I should be at.
"When I came back from my broken leg, I was 15 stone and that's big. I then got it down to 14 and now I'm feeling even fitter – probably the fittest I have been in a few years."