Ethan Chislett’s silky skills have provided an additional attacking weapon for Wimbledon in recent matches and the midfielder said that a spell in Spain helped to develop his talents.
The 22-year-old spent time a few seasons back playing for CF Reddis and Gimnas La Pobla, before coming back to England and making his mark with Met Police and Aldershot Town. The opportunity came about through the contacts of his father Donovan, who played professional football in South Africa, and coached Ethan at Guildford Saints. Looking back on the experience, Ethan said that he adapted well to Spanish life and he even mastered the language!
“It was brilliant out there,” recalled Ethan. “I played a lot of Futsal when I was younger and through that I got the opportunity to go out to Spain and play football. It came about through one of my Dad’s connections and I was asked to go over to Spain for a week’s trial. Coaches over there liked me, they thought I was a good player, so I decided to give it a go.
“It was a great time and probably one of the best things I have done in my life. I got to learn a different culture and I had to adapt. It was very different to now as I was on the beach most of the time! I’ve lost it (the Spanish language) a bit, but I still understand quite a lot.
“In Brazil and Portugal, especially, Futsal is very popular. If you look at the players those countries have produced over the years, it’s a good starting block for football. It’s all about close touches and ball retention, so it was definitely beneficial to me.”
Ethan was a player the Dons had tracked long before he came here last summer with Interim Manager Mark Robinson having compiled a scouting report on him during his time at Met Police. Having scored at Oxford and played a pivotal part in the victory at Wigan, Ethan appreciates Robbo’s influence – and he’s eager to get his first goal at Plough Lane against Rochdale this Saturday.
“My Dad has known Robbo for a while through football. With the last week you could probably tell from the Wigan performance that it has changed drastically. Not only with the tactical side of things, which Robbo is brilliant at, but also with the mentality and that spirit of not giving up.
“I genuinely believe that if this game (at Wigan) was played a couple of weeks ago we would not have got the third goal to win it. It shows that Robbo has instilled a confidence and a motivation within the team. He brought in a psychologist and I feel that benefited a lot of the players and the team morale in general. Robbo is insistent on doing it more regularly and I think it’s massive. If we can get that side of things nailed down the team can go from strength to strength.
“I feel that I’ve dealt with the physical aspect of stepping up to League One quite well. My running stats are always quite high. I still believe I can put on a bit of muscle, so that’s an area I can improve. It has been quite frustrating for me, personally. Every player wants to play every week, but in football sometimes you have to be patient and keep working hard.
“I love scoring goals and assisting goals. I believe that whenever I play in any of those midfield positions I can do it. Robbo is brilliant and I have been given the licence to have a bit of freedom. I can almost do what I want in that final third, as he has done with all the players. You can see that the players respect that, which is brilliant.
“I haven’t scored at Plough Lane, so that’s my next target, my next goal. The most important thing though is that we get back-to-back wins, and the team can go from strength to strength.”