Barrow AFC defender Sam Hird is looking forward to finally benefitting from a run of games after being forced to miss so much football in the last year.

Hird joined the Bluebirds earlier in the month from National League North side Alfreton Town, reuniting him with manager Ian Evatt, who was a team-mate of his at Chesterfield for five seasons.

The 31-year-old was released by the Spireites last summer after their relegation from League Two, but he hadn’t appeared for them since January because of a serious thigh injury.

After a move to an EFL club didn’t materialise, he signed for Alfreton to build up his fitness, but a meniscus issue set him back again in the months leading up to his arrival at Holker Street.

After impressing in his full debut for AFC at Chesterfield last Saturday, Hird said: “I’m getting a lot sharper every day and I’m feeling better.

“I had a long time out last season and then I got fit and played a few games at Alfreton, where I felt like I was getting a lot fitter.

“Then I got a little knee injury, which put me back a bit more in my fitness.

“I’ve been in with the lads at the club now for two or three weeks and I’m getting there.”

Hird’s performance in the 0-0 draw at the Proact Stadium earned him a place in the Non-League Paper’s National League Team of the Day, as he got through 90 minutes without any issues.

However, he will have to wait ten days to build up his match sharpness further, due to Barrow being in the middle of another two-week break, after the home match with Leyton Orient was moved due to the O’s continued participation in the FA Trophy.

While he accepts it is not ideal for him, he believes his teammates will benefit from the rest, as it will precede a busy period in the weeks that follow.

Hird said: “It’s not really what I want, but it gives us a chance to recharge the batteries.

“A lot of players have played a lot of games - it’s not just about me, it’s about the squad.

“We did have a break a couple of weeks back and it worked well in terms of us getting all of the lads together and doing things on the training pitch.

“We didn’t perform as well as we would have liked to against Halifax, but then at Chesterfield I feel we performed a lot better, especially in the second half. I thought we were good.”

Expanding further on AFC’s display against the Spireites, Hird said: “I think all that was missing was that goal.

“When we got on top, after the hour mark, I think if we’d have got that goal then, in my opinion, it would have gone on to be two or three.”