CORK CITY’S Dylan McGlade knows exactly what it takes to come back from a long-term injury.
Having suffered a knee injury in the second game of the season, McGlade had been unavailable since, but the City player is nearing his comeback and feels that past injuries, including broken legs and ankles, have helped him cope with being out for so long.
“I have been out longer than I first anticipated but with knees it is important not to rush back and listen to the advice the experts give you. I remember during the game just twisting it and trying to carry on but I wasn’t able to.
“I thought at the time it wasn’t too bad but the longer I sat on the bench; the more pain I was in and I knew I had done something serious. Being injured is frustrating but it’s not the first injury I have sustained.
“I’ve actually been really unfortunate with injuries, in terms of when I sustain one, they always seem to be serious and long-term. I’ve had more serious injuries in the past by breaking my legs and ankles, so in terms of this injury in a strange way I think I’ve been a little bit lucky because I know injuries can be a lot worse.
“The first time I broke my leg I was playing in a reserve match for Boro against Everton. I was 16 at the time and I was doing really well at the club. Believe it or not, I was actually playing defensive midfielder.
I remember trying to play a ball and all my weight was on one leg and one of their players came from behind and just went through the back of me and broke my leg and ankle.
“Like I said, I was doing very well with the club and I was also doing well with the Irish team at underage level. It took me a while to recover, and by the time I returned I had four months left in my contract.
“I felt I had done well in those four months. I was playing well and I was scoring goals, I managed to get a hat-trick in one of the games.
“Unfortunately, when it came to the end of my contract they opted not to renew it because of the finances at the club. It wasn’t just down to my wage but other financial commitments in my contract.
“I suppose the club weren’t in a position to be patient and see if I would fully recover from the injury. Of course, at the time I was unhappy, but I can see now that I am older, their reasoning behind the decision. It taught me from a young age just how cut-throat an industry football can be.
“I went on a few trials that summer. I went to Burnley, Hibs, Birmingham, and then I ended up going to Oxford for two weeks and did really well. Chris Wilder was their manager and he seemed to like me.
“They went to offer me a contract but the finances weren’t working out, and they had a couple of guys on loan. This was around the end of September, so they suggested waiting a few months and by the time January comes round those loans would be up and finance would become available.
"I went back and signed amateur forms with Shelbourne’s U19s to keep fit. Signing amateur meant I was free to leave if Oxford’s interest remained. About three weeks before January, I played in a game and broke my leg, so that obviously ruined any chance of that move.
“Coming back from that; I ended up going on a FAS course to play football for a year. Kevin Doherty got appointed Shels’ manager during the time and he came to one of our games to watch one of the players that he had signed.
“He obviously must have liked what he saw and offered me to go in and train with them for a week or two and I ended up signing for them, and that was my first proper year in League of Ireland football.
“So, I have had to experience a lot of ups and downs in football, and yes the knee injury is another down but I haven’t let it affect me and have just focused on getting back onto the pitch no matter how long it takes — which shouldn’t be too much longer.”