PLYMOUTH Albion summer signing Jon Dawe is hoping he will be fully fit for the start of the new season.
The 21-year-old has missed the last three weeks of training after suffering a knee injury.
But the Cornwall winger says he is making good progress with his recovery and has his eyes on featuring in the club’s final warm-up match against Newton Abbot on August 28.
“I tore my meniscus in my knee, but I’m on the mend now,” said Dawe. “It was only a slight tear, so it was not too bad, but enough not to train.
“Yet I’m glad I’ve done it in pre-season rather than during the season. At least it will be out of the way now.
“However, it was a shame I missed the Jersey game as I was looking forward to that.
“But, hopefully, I can get back as soon as possible. It should not be long now.
“I am hoping I will get a game at the end of this month,” he added. “But if I can’t I’m not going to be annoyed or anything. I just want it to heal properly. I’m not going to rush back into it and then end up a step back.
“I have to make sure it is fully recovered before I come back.”
Dawe, who joined Albion after less than half a season playing for Launceston, is battling it out with the likes of Robin Wedlake, Harrison Cully, Ethan Ford, George de Mendonca and Seti Raumakita for a wing spot.
“I was going to have to work to get into the team anyway but this (injury) has just put me a step back,” said Dawe.
“But I will just have to work harder when I get back.”
Despite his injury, Dawe is loving life at Brickfields.
“I think it’s brilliant,” he said. “I love it here. It’s really good.”
On what his targets are for the season, Dawe added: “I just want to try my best and get into the team. I’d like to get a regular starting spot, but that’s down to me. I have to work hard.”
Dawe made a late push to get into Cornwall’s County Championship squad after only making his Launceston first team debut in January.
But he caught the eye of Duchy boss and namesake Graham Dawe and ended up a Twickenham cup final winner.
The 6ft 2in winger admitted knowing the former England hooker had belief in him was a big boost to him and played a part in his decision to join Albion.
“I think playing for Cornwall helped me out quite a bit, especially with Graham coaching. I think he is brilliant,” said Dawe. “He knows what he is on about, which is really good, and he’s helped me out a lot.”
The winger is combining his rugby with working as a motor technician.
“I’m still working full-time,” he said. “I come down from Indian Queens three times a week. I’m a technician at Carrs Volkswagen.
“I work through my lunch to get down here on time.”
But Dawe says his bosses are understanding about his situation.
“They are fantastic – good as gold down there,” he said. “They are very supportive.”