Chris Forino says his whirlwind year has shown him that he can be capable of achieving whatever he sets his mind on in football, after rising to prominence at Adams Park and earning a new contract until 2024.
The defender was studying at Loughborough University at the beginning of 2021 when a phone call out of the blue paved the way for him to earn a chance to impress the Chairboys – and he grabbed it with both hands.
“I woke up in bed in the middle of the morning and got a call from an agent I hadn’t heard from for ages, saying there was a trial game at Wycombe and was I fit to play. I don’t know if I was fit exactly but I was always going to take the opportunity and I did well enough to earn a trial off the back of it.
“At that point I couldn’t have dreamed of this scenario. I came in as an unknown quantity and pretty much was here to make up the numbers, but I’ve put in some hard graft, recovered from a knee injury and now I don’t know where to put the ceiling. The sky’s the limit.
“I made the choice to go to university but I’ve always loved football and I’m so grateful to the gaffer, Dobbo, all the staff and the Couhigs for putting faith in me.
“I knew after my trial that even if it was a yes or a no from Wycombe, I would stick it out with football because this club has showed me that playing football is a pleasure.
“The one word I always use is ‘grateful’ – I never go knocking on the gaffer’s door, I’ll bide my time, keep working hard on the training ground and on my days off.”
Forino was handed his league debut last week for the 2-1 victory over Burton Albion, and admitted he wasn’t given too much notice that he was being thrust into the starting line-up, which helped quash any nerves that might have crept in.
“I think if I’d been told the day before that I was playing then I wouldn’t have been able to sleep, but I was told about an hour and twenty minutes before kick-off. There were a few jitters but as soon I stepped on to the pitch I had a narrow focus and I was just thinking about my own game.
“It was an amazing experience to have the fans behind us and now I’m just looking forward to my next opportunity to play.”