Marcus Bettinelli might be the only Fulham player who wouldn’t change a thing about the last year.
The Whites’ relegation from the Premier League and the departures of David Stockdale and Maarten Stekelenburg gave him a glimpse of first team football and when Kit Symons stepped up to replace the axed Felix Magath, the under-21 coach turned to the academy graduate who has been patiently waiting for his chance at Motspur Park.
Bettinelli has taken the form he showed on loan at Accrington into the Championship and hasn’t looked back.
He said: “For Fulham last season it wasn’t great, but it was tremendous for me. If you said to me back then you’ll be playing for Fulham’s first team, I wouldn’t have believed you. It shows you never know what’s going to happen.”
Two years ago the product of Fulham’s academy had a spell with Conference side Dartford, and last season enjoyed a 39-game loan at Accrington Stanley, far from the keeper’s London roots, and far from a club with a Premier League set-up.
In the past, hard-up Stanley demanded players take kit home and wash it. Bettinelli was spared that, but enjoyed the experience in football’s basement.
“The year I went to Stanley we finally got a kit man, but the players were telling me stories about the past,” he added. “I’m very thankful to (ex-manager) James Beattie for giving me the chance. Before that I was at Dartford, and both loans were where I learned my trade. I don’t regret it.”