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Sam's back!

Blades defender returns on loan

8 September 2020

Central defender Sam Graham has returned to us on loan from Sheffield United.

The 20-year-old, who will be with us until January initially, put in a number of impressive performances for us at the beginning of last season before suffering an Achilles injury which ruled him out of the rest of the campaign.

He’s since made a strong recovery, returning to training with parent club Sheffield United before the coronavirus lockdown and more recently playing 90 minutes in a friendly against Stoke City’s Under 23s.

“I’ve been working hard over the past eight months to get fit and now I’m back,” said Graham, who trained with us today and hopes to play some part in Saturday’s behind-closed-doors friendly at Alfreton Town.

“I started training two weeks before lockdown and then had a hard programme to do at home every day.

“I’ve been training with the first team, which has been a great experience, and now it feels good to be back at Notts.

“As soon as I knew there was potential for me to come back I’ve been excited because I really enjoyed it.

“I know I’ve got strong competition for my place and that we’ll always be pushing each other.”

Graham Barnet 1600.png

Our manager Neal Ardley added: “We looked at several options but kept coming back to Sam because we feel like he’s got unfinished business.

“We loved him last season – he started really, really well and I think the fans liked him too.

“It'll be a smooth transition for him - he knows me and the players and what we’re trying to achieve.

“His injury has repaired and he’s had minutes, so he may even be a touch ahead of our lads. He did some fitness with the boys today and his arrival means we have a little more time to get Alex Lacey and Ben Turner fit again.

“Ben’s getting the strength back into his calf so he can come back without any mishaps, while Alex has been doing bits with the lads but is still two-and-a-bit weeks behind. He’s a naturally fit boy but it’s not ideal, so we’ll build him up gradually.”

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