YOUNG defender Luke Woolfenden feels his first extended taste of senior football at Swindon Town could not have gone much better.

Woolfenden was one of four players to arrive on loan at the Energy Check County Ground last summer, but it is only the Ipswich Town youngster who has stayed until the end of the season.

Fellow centre-back Sid Nelson as well as striker Elijah Adebayo and midfielder Steven Alzate all made early departures in January to head back to their parent clubs before loan switches elsewhere.

Although signed by former Town boss Phil Brown, Woolfenden has remained a regular in the side since Richie Wellens took over at SN1 last November and has made 28 appearances for the club in all competitions this season, with his ability to play at right-back as well as in the heart of defence a big attribute.

Woolfenden spent the second half of last season on loan at Bromley in the National League, and although he does have three Championship appearances to his name with Ipswich, it has been with Swindon in League Two that he has really cut his teeth in the game.

The 20-year-old is thrilled at how well he has adapted since being thrust into the limelight at Town and believes the style of play employed by Wellens has allowed him to flourish.

“To be honest, I don’t think it could have gone much better than it has,” said Woolfenden.

“I had a bit of an injury and missed a couple of games earlier in the season, but that’s all OK now.

“I think I’ve probably played eight games as a right-back but then the rest at centre-back. I can play both, I think, but obviously centre-back is my main position.

“We’ve changed manager at Swindon this season, and since the new gaffer has come in, we’ve been a bit more consistent and we’re in with a shout of the play-offs.

“He likes to play out from the back, which suits the way I play, but there are also some big boys playing up front in this division, which I think I’ve been able to handle well as well.”

The prospect of Woolfenden returning to Swindon for another loan stint next season look unlikely at this stage.

He signed a new contract at Portman Road last month, and with the Tractor Boys looking destined for relegation to League One, Woolfenden could well head straight into the starting XI upon his return to his parent club.

“It was really good to get my contract sorted,” said Woolfenden.

“I’ve been back to the training ground in Ipswich a bit and have spoken to Paul Lambert

“I keep in touch with the lads and I’m looking forward to being back in the summer, although I’m really enjoying my time at Swindon too.

“The natural progression for me is probably to play in League One next, but I think I could probably have skipped that level and played in the Championship next season.

“The club being relegated to League One isn’t the worst thing in the world for me personally, but we’ll do everything we can to get back up again.”