Carlton Morris and Ben Godfrey were left heartbroken following Shrewsbury Town’s defeat in Sunday’s League One play-off final, but say they have grown as players during their seasons on loan at Salop.
Shrewsbury were beaten 2-1 in extra-time by Rotherham United at Wembley, and Carlton Morris was forced off in the 66th minute with a knee injury shortly after Salop’s equaliser.
“I tried my best to stay on the pitch because you don’t want to miss out on opportunities like that,” Morris told the media after the game. “We’d just got the goal back and we felt like we were coming back into the game a lot more and then unfortunately with the incident I couldn’t carry on.
“I was saying to the lads before the game that this is why we play the game. So it did hurt being forced off.
“I felt we’d flipped the game and were beginning to get on top of them, so it was just bad timing but that’s football and you move on from it.”
Shrewsbury finished third in League One, and Morris says that despite the disappointing end to the season he will look back on his time in Shropshire as an important learning curve in his career.
“I’m a different player now than when I went out on loan. I’ve had a lot of games this season and we’ve had some wonderful experiences – going to Wembley twice, playing at West Ham away, the play-off semi-finals.
“It’s been a good season but if I’m being honest the feeling of losing here hurts like nothing I’ve had before. It hurts deep in your core.
“But hopefully it can be used as a positive experience one day – you have to use negatives, especially when you’re young you can learn from it and use it to fuel you later.”
Godfrey, who played the entire 120 minutes and has been deeply impressive in a holding midfield role, echoed Morris’ sentiments.
“I’m gutted for the boys, the club and the fans. But that’s football – it can be cruel when you don’t get the result you want.
“I just want to say thanks to every single person involved at Shrewsbury , they’ve brought me on leaps and bounds on and off the field. I feel like I’ve matured as a person and I’ve enjoyed every single second of my time here.
“There will always be a part of Shrewsbury in my heart. I’ll never forget it. I’ve learned things here that can hopefully take me to the next level.”