Cheltenham Town video: Accrington gave me my big chance - Gornell
TERRY Gornell says he has nothing but fond memories of playing for Accrington Stanley as he prepares to make his comeback from injury for Cheltenham Town at the Crown Ground tomorrow (3pm).
The striker was forced to sit out Saturday's 3-1 home defeat by Plymouth Argyle with a groin injury, but he has been passed fit to play and is fully expected to go straight back into the starting line-up.
Gornell made his Football League debut for Stanley, during a loan spell from Tranmere Rovers in 2008.
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He was just 18 when he went on as a half-time substitute in a 3-0 defeat at Darlington.
He scored four goals in 10 starts and one substitute appearance before returning to his parent club, but he joined Stanley permanently in the summer of 2010 and helped the Lancashire club reach the League Two play-offs.
"I had a great time at Accrington, who gave me my first League experience and I was only 18 when I went on loan there," Gornell said.
"It was a great experience at that age, being thrown in at the deep end really, but it was great for me and definitely benefited me as a player going back to Tranmere.
"I then went back there under John Coleman and we had a great season.
"There were some big clubs in our division that year so to reach the play-offs was a great achievement, but he assembled a good team and I think we were one of the best footballing teams in League Two that year.
"We deserved it and it was no surprise for us to get in the play-offs, although a lot of people outside probably were surprised."
Gornell scored home and away against Cheltenham that season, including in a 2-1 win for Accrington at Whaddon Road.
He is looking forward to his return to the Crown Ground, where he netted for Shrewsbury Town two seasons ago.
"It's a unique club and a lot people don't like going there, but I love it," he said.
"I loved my time there and it's a club where everyone is in it together and it's great how they pull through things, so I have full respect for the club."
The likes of Luke Joyce and Peter Murphy remain from Gornell's time as a Stanley player.
Having been passed fit to play after recovering from a groin injury, he is hoping to help Cheltenham pick up their first league win of the season.
"The injury is fine now and it settled down pretty quick after the Chesterfield game (August 10)," Gornell said.
"Last Saturday was just too soon so we took the risk out of it.
"We need that first win under our belt now and then we can kick on with the season."