AFTER 18 weeks being sidelined due to a knee injury, Cork City’s Dylan McGlade is back fitter and stronger and looking forward to playing his part in getting his club back playing in the top-tier of football in Ireland.
The 27-year-old midfielder ruptured his MCL back in February in just the second game of the season and while it’s been a frustrating time for him watching games from the stand, he’s delighted the team are top of the league.
“Sitting in the stand and watching games is super frustrating,” said McGlade.
“This has been the longest I’ve been out injured since my last leg break seven years ago and the first kind of major injury since then so it has been difficult.
“I had a grade two rupture of my MCL, it happened about 20 minutes into the second game of the season against Galway, just really unlucky I just twisted my knee awkwardly and it went.
“I’ve been doing a lot of work in the gym strengthening my knee up and I’m back now feeling strong and fit.
“Obviously, I had a really good pre-season and hit the ground running in the first game and I was super excited for this season.
“I’ve been buzzing for the lads doing so well but obviously it being such a big season I want to be involved and be a part of it and a bit of you feels like you’re not able to contribute as much as you’d like.
I’m back fully fit now with still half a season and cup games to go so I just want to help the team out as much as I can in the run-in to the end of the season.”
Top of the league at the moment is where McGlade wants to be and although competition can be tough in the squad I expect him to slot right back in there and continue his form.
“I think the team is doing super well this season, we look strong and fit and I think there is a real togetherness this season.
“The core of the team has been together for a good while now and I think that shows.
“We create a lot of chances and we keep the ball well so I think if we can continue that then there’s no reason for us not to continue this run of form.
“It’s obviously fantastic to be back at the top of the league.
“We were disappointed to drop down to second place a few weeks ago but we want to be at the top and stay at the top and solidify our place there.
“It’s so important for us as a club to be back playing in the top tier of football in this country again. It’s one of the biggest clubs in the country with one of the best and biggest fan bases and they deserve Premier Division football.
A club like Cork should be competing at the top of the division and hopefully we can give that to the fans.”
Three points against local rivals Cobh last Friday saw Colin Healy’s side overtake Galway at the top who dropped points against Treaty in their 0-0 draw. This was a huge three points for City, which McGlade believes was a hard-fought but deserved win.
“City against Cobh is always going to be a tough game. There’s a lot of bragging rights at stake and both teams know that.
“We knew it was going to be a difficult game so we were delighted to get the win. We were actually in the dressing room and got word that Galway had scored in the last minute and we were all like for God's sake, but then a couple seconds later we heard it was disallowed so obviously that was good for us.
“I’ve been playing in the league now seven years and this is definitely one of the most competitive seasons.
“I made my debut for Shels in the First Division in 2015 so I’ve played between both divisions since then with little spells in the UK in between but this is definitely one of the strongest years so far as a whole.
“I don’t think there’s that much of a divide in quality between both divisions and I’ve not seen that for a long time which only shows the league as a whole is improving massively. And I love being part of it.”