Third-year scholar Sam Alderson is delighted to be back playing again after recovering from a broken ankle sustained at the start of the season.
The midfielder, who suffered the injury whilst on loan at Cambridge City at the end of August, has made a loan move to St Neots Town after successfully completing 60 minutes in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Queens Park Rangers earlier this week.
“It’s really good to be back out there and it was great to get my first minutes in the game against QPR,” Alderson told leytonorient.com.
“It has been a long time but I have worked hard to come back from the injury and can’t thank all the medical staff enough – Peter Webb, Josh Birtwistle, Neil Baron, Michael Amoah and Emma Baughurst have all been fantastic with me.
“Andy Edwards, Danny Webb, Richard Thomas and Omer Riza have also all helped me get back to this point and I am extremely grateful for their support.
“It was tough to get over the injury at first but once I was able to do that all the hard work has followed and most certainly been worth it.”
Having put pen-to-paper on the third-year scholarship in the summer, Alderson gained his first real taste of men’s football whilst on loan at Cambridge City, and having settled into life well at the Lilywhites revealed the timing of the injury was a huge blow.
“I’d got about 10 games under my belt for the club and felt I was performing well, so the timing of the injury was obviously a massive disappointment,” he added.
“I was contributing with a few assists as well as trying really hard to chip in with a few goals, and I was definitely enjoying my football.
“It was tough from that point of view but I have got to leave that behind me now and try to pick up from where I left off.”
With the news of Alderson’s loan to St Neots being announced earlier today, the midfielder is eligible to make his debut for the Southern Premier Division in their Boxing Day fixture at home to Biggleswade Town under a manager he already knows well.
“I know the manager Dan Gleeson having played under him at Cambridge and he knows what I am about. It will be good to get back out there and playing again,” explained Alderson.
“Knowing the gaffer already helps a lot and it will be nice to be competing in men’s football once again. It is completely different to youth team football as you are battling for points every week and careers matter. Everyone has something to play for and it is great learning curve.”
After sustaining the injury against St Ives on August 29, Alderson required surgery but following a short period at home recovering, he admitted it helped returning to the club on a day-to-day basis.
“I had a week out prior to the operation and then a few days at home after to get my head around it all, but then I was back down the training ground and it was nice to be around everyone,” he added.
“It is a lot easier when you have people to talk to and all the boys who have ended up coming into the physio room during the time I have been out have all been great by telling me to keep my head up and continue to work hard as they have all suffered injuries at one point or another throughout their careers.
“That sort of advice was great to get over the past few months and I am now looking forward to playing for St Neots. I am excited for the Boxing Day game against Biggleswade but know it is important to not over-do it and make sure I manage my workload accordingly.”