JAMES BERRETT sees himself primarily as a central midfielder – but the versatile 20-year-old is willing to do a job anywhere on the pitch.
However opportunities have been hard to come by for a player who seems to win praise virtually every time he turns out.
He’s figured just four times for Town this season, and two of those outings have been from the bench.
It’s also been a tale of frustration with the Republic of Ireland Under 21s, who have twice called him up in the last two months but failed to add to his three-cap tally.
Town manager Lee Clark clearly sees bright potential in the academy product, having handed him an extended contract through to 2012.
And having grown up with the club, the Golcar-based player is willing to be patient as he pushes for a regular berth.
“I’d like to think my best position is in the centre of midfield, but I’ll play wherever I’m asked to,” said Berrett, who has turned out at both sweeper and right-back of late.
“There is big competition for places here and you have to keep working as hard as you can in training to get a chance.
“When it comes, you do your best to help the side succeed, and it possible, keep your place, and that’s what I’ll keep doing.”
It’s two and a half years since Berrett was handed his first-team debut from the bench by then-caretaker manager Gerry Murphy in a 1-1 draw at Oldham Athletic, Town’s League I destination a week tomorrow.
His home bow came against a Blackpool side including current Town teammate Robbie Williams in the following match, which Town lost 2-0.
He made a memorable full debut in the 2-1 FA Cup third-round home win over Premier League Birmingham City in January 2008.
And the first of his two goals to date came in the 3-2 win at Bristol Rovers two months later (he was also on target in last season’s 3-1 defeat at Crewe Alexandra).
An appearance against Leyton Orient at the Galpharm today would be his 34th for the club, and Berrett, given a sharpener when the reserves took on Hartlepool United in midweek, added: “I’m feeling in good nick and I’ll be ready if required.
“With the broad range of characters and quality of the people in the squad, you have your work cut out to make the team, but I jut want to be my own man and carve out my own niche here.”