Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury's Chey Dunkley knows how to look after himself

Chey Dunkley has been a brilliant addition for Shrewsbury this season – but how has he enabled himself to stay fit for all 36 league games?


The 31-year-old arrived at Town as a free agent in the summer and he has become a fan favourite at Montgomery Waters Meadow with his consistent whole-hearted performances.

In those 36 games he has managed five goals, too, and last week he was nominated for the League One player of the month award – something that is generally hard to come by for a defender.

And the former Wigan and Sheffield Wednesday man explained what it is he does during the week to make sure his body is in the best place possible to be able to put in the performances he has done since the start of a long and gruelling campaign.

“A bit of it is mental, and it is a bit of professionalism off the pitch,” said Dunkley. “I make sure that I do my prehab (something footballers do to prepare their body for training and games – normally foam rolling or stretching) and I eat properly.

“So all those things that you would expect from a professional.

“It is easy to just have a fast food takeaway, and it is little things like that. But I am at an age now where you have to really look after your body, that is how you are going to churn out those performances and play the next week.”

Town had have had some very demanding weeks over the course of the season as is always the way in the third tier of English football.

They travelled to Derby on the Saturday and then they made a more than 250-mile round trip to Peterborough, in the same day, on Tuesday evening before being back in action just a few days later when they welcomed Morecambe to Shropshire on Saturday afternoon.

And Dunkley explained some of the things he thinks about in a demanding week like that to make sure his body is ready to go again.

He said: “We had three games last week, so it is very important we do the cryotherapy (exposure to extreme cold to aid recovery) and stretches.

“For me now, after a game, it is a case of going back home and wrapping myself in cotton wool and the day after I will consider going for a walk or maybe getting a massage to build for next week. So it is a bit of professionalism, I would say, and understanding your body.

“I am fortunate to have played a lot of games and I want to play as many as I possibly can and if that is going to help the team then that is great.

“I am happy to be doing the right things and being on the pitch.”

Town have a much quieter week this week with no midweek fixture, as they prepare to make the almost 400-mile round trip to face Ipswich this weekend at Portman Road.

Shrewsbury are looking to keep the pressure on sixth-placed Bolton, whereas the Tractor Boys are still hunting down Plymouth Argyle and Sheffield Wednesday for an automatic promotion spot.