WHEN a man who can count the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur among his former clubs is talking, you should listen and listen closely.

Zeki Fryers is evidently not one of those players that particularly enjoys his media duties. But from the few minutes in his company, the 26-year-old still manages to part with some fascinating insights into what it is really like being a professional footballer in the modern game.

The former England under-19 international admits he is desperate to string together a 40-plus game season while at Swindon after only reaching double figures, in terms of starts, once at a club before his two years at Barnsley – the club he left before signing in Wiltshire this summer.

And when asked whether Town’s bristling start to the season has injected some much needed enjoyment back into a career that appeared to be heading into freefall before he found at home at the County Ground, Fryers replied with a succinct and honest call of a ‘yes’ before elaborating.

“To everyone else, it looks like an easy job, but there are a lot of emotions in it,” said the ex-Crystal Palace man.

“The highs and lows can take a lot out of you and it’s about dealing with them.

“When I was younger, getting my mind around certain things and not understanding certain things was tough.

“But I’m getting older now and I’m understanding things more.

“The game today, you’ve got to have high levels of concentration and a lot of it is about your mentality.

“If that’s right going into a game, you’ll usually do well.”

Formerly a centre-back that was moved wide left due to his pace, athleticism and excellent range of passing, Fryers claims to be a particularly useful option in the final third, if Richie Wellens fancied rolling the dice.

The full-back has already bagged a goal and an assist in three League Two outings so far, and Fryers is looking to start adding to both tallies when Northampton Town visit the County Ground tonight.

He said: “In the games that I have played throughout my career, I haven’t scored that many goals, so I’d like to add that going forward.

“I’ve always been put at the back because I’m quite quick, but I’m decent in the air and I can attack space, so I’d like to keep doing that and see how many (goals) I can add.

“I’m a defender first and foremost, so I’ve got to defend, but this team allows me to get forward, which is a bonus for me.

“It’s just a case of remembering that I am a defender, so I’ve got to do the right things, instead of getting carried away and getting forward all the time.

“I think I’ve got that balance right so far, if I can add a few more assists to my game, and some more goals in the future, I’ll be happy.

“We all know what we’ve got to do (tonight).

“It will be another tough game and it’s a different challenge every game.

“But that’s why we train, to practice things and prepare for what we might expect from the game.”