After returning from injury as a second half substitute in our U18s’ 1-1 with Burnley, Matty Doyle expressed his delight having overcome a frustrating and prolonged period on the sidelines.
The young defender damaged his anterior cruciate ligament at the back end of last season and, following a tough spell away from football, is delighted to be back out on the pitch.
“It’s a brilliant feeling,” he beamed. “I’ve been waiting a long time for this moment and I’m just so happy to be back. I’ve really enjoyed being involved again.
“It was very tough, both mentally and physically. I’ve dealt with a lot of setbacks. It has been a long slog, but it was all worth it. I honestly can’t thank the physios and sports scientists enough.”
The defender entered the fray on the hour mark before contributing to his side’s uphill battle to salvage a point in a tricky encounter at the Oakwell Training Ground.
Rafael Monteiro eventually grabbed the deserved leveller late on to share the spoils and ensure our U18s made it 10 games unbeaten in the Professional Development League.
“It was a scrappy game and I think a draw was the fair result in the end,” assessed Doyle. “We were a little bit off it and far from our best.
“We’ll work on it. We were always bound to have an off day at some point. As a group, we’re looking forward to working hard in training on Monday to prepare for Coventry on Tuesday where we have an opportunity to amend things.”
Both personally and as a team, Doyle hopes to finish the season on a high. Our young Reds currently sit in a comfortable position at the top of the table – 16 points clear of nearest challengers Peterborough United.
“The lads have done brilliantly,” smiled the 18-year-old. “As a team, our aim is obviously to win the league and, personally, I hope to get as much game time as possible and show everyone what I’m capable of.”