The final period of Plymouth Argyle’s pre-season game against Bristol City is likely the happiest 17 minutes Brendon Galloway has had in a long while.
The Zimbabwe international defender injured his knee in November and had had to endure a long road to recovery. After lots of rehabilitation, and plenty of frustration in watching his team-mates in action, he returned to action on 73 minutes, as Argyle lost 1-0 to The Robins.
The result was largely immaterial to him. Actually, that is not true, as no defenders like conceding goals and losing games, at any time.
However, on this occasion, the bigger picture is the smaller details: pulling on the strip again, crossing the white line, being involved. His pleasure at being back in action was clear to see, after the game.
“Any time you step on the pitch and put the green shirt on to represent the club it’s a special feeling,” Brendan told Argyle TV. “It’s a big club, a great fanbase; a fanbase that gets behind the players all the time., To step back on the pitch, especially at home, is a great feeling. I’m just happy to be back amongst the lads, back on the pitch in front of the fans.
“I’ve enjoyed pre-season so far. It’s been tough, but there’s no better feeling.
“It feels like it has been ages, but we’ve got a good team, good staff, good players that helped me get through it, especially at the start when I couldn’t do much.
“It’s been a journey that I thank my team-mates and I thank the staff for helping me on.”
There is a saying that every journey starts with a single step. These 17 minutes are the next step forward for Brendan, but while we all want to see him fully fit and playing regular, he still has a way to go. Fortunately, his recognises the value of not rushing his recovery.
“I think I need to just ease my way back into it,” he said. “I don’t want to go full throttle straight away, just ease myself into it, get back into the swing of things and hopefully keep taking the right steps forward.
“I was frustrated last season, watching in the stands, but it’s part of football. Injuries happen, you have to deal with it. I just had to support the lads last season and make sure they did the best that they could. I’m proud of what they did last season – this season we are ready to go again.
“The staff have put together a really good squad, a tight group. Good people, good players, that can compete in different positions. In training we compete all the time. It’s very competitive and that’s the way the squad needs to be. Everyone works hard, everyone gives 100% always, that’s the minimum the staff and the fans ask for.
“We play the way the gaffer wants, and if we take on board what he says, I think we’ll do great.”