RICHARD ORLU has admitted that being captain of Woking Football Club is not enjoyable, but does believe in has made him a better player.
Orlu, 29, joined the Cards from fellow National League side Dover Atheltic and came under fire from his critics as his side made an inconsistent start to the season.
However, Woking have conceded twice in their last five games and remain in the FA Cup and in the top 10 of the National League and Orlu believes the weight of the captaincy is a good thing for him.
He told Woking FC TV: “. I’m enjoying the challenge of being captain but it’s not enjoyable. It’s extra responsibility, I don’t enjoy going to meet the referee but it’s a feeling of responsibility.”
“I’ve got to be the one that’s the leader so I take it seriously but it’s improving me as a player and a person so hopefully that’s important.”
Orlu has made 15 appearances after an injury-hit season, but after injuries to him and central defender Josh Staunton, there was an opportunity for midfielder Jordan Wynter to fill in there.
Wynter has been without doubt Woking’s most consistent player in an unnatural position this season, and there has often been different centre-back pairings throughout the season.
Be it Wynter and Orlu, Wynter and Staunton or Staunton and Orlu, Woking have seemed to perform no matter who is in front of Nathan Baxter in goal.
Orlu has put the rotation down to it being ‘just football’ and injuries can occur, but thinks the competition makes everyone prepared for when they get their opportunity.
He added: “It’s just how it’s worked out. I picked up my injury, Jordan come in and for me he’s been outstanding, he hasn’t put a foot wrong and I got back into the side when Staunts got injured. There’s a bit of rotation going on but I don’t feel like anyone comes in and struggles.”
One of those players that were thrown in at the deep end was goalkeeper Sam Mason, with the 17-year-old deputising for Baxter who suffered a minor ankle injury in training.
The Academy goalkeeper made his debut in the 1-1 draw with Maidenhead on Saturday afternoon before keeping his first clean sheet in professional football in Woking’s 1-0 win over Ebbsfleet on Tuesday, and earned the plaudits of his skipper.
“Sam Mason starting his first game, he was brilliant. He didn’t put a foot wrong and he made some good decisions so it’s good that we’ve got players that can do the job no matter who comes in.”