ASHINGTON CFC striker Stephen Young hit the comeback trail last week when he made a cameo ten minutes appearance as a substitute in his side’s 3-1 win over Consett at Woodhorn Lane.
For 30-year-old Young, pictured, it was just a relief to get back onto the pitch – five months after suffering a broken ankle and leg in Ashington’s 5-1 win over Jarrow Roofing, having only been on the field a few minutes as a replacement.
And for Young, a civil servant, trying to erase the memories from that afternoon will prove difficult as by sheer coincidence that afternoon his partner Jill Coultas was already in Wansbeck General Hospital – in the maternity department expecting the couple’s second child with new daughter Freya delivered days later, a sister for then 15-month-old Maisie.
“Ironically, I had only returned to the squad after being sidelined with a broken hand when this injury occurred,” he said.
“Lying in hospital things didn’t look good – but I always felt and hoped that I would come back.
“I’ve worked hard and attended classes for rehab of the ankle then my leg since the beginning of January.
“It was a case of building my strength back up and I was going for two hour sessions twice a week.
“The hospital and myself were happy with the progress and they saw no reason why I shouldn’t return to playing football again.
“I was getting stronger and had no swelling whatsoever, just general stiffness.
“Because of other injuries to the squad I’ve probably come back earlier than anticipated, although I was always hoping to return sometime in March.
“I’m fit but match fitness will only come with the more games I play and the more minutes I can be on the pitch.
“I see no reason why we can’t finish in the top bracket in the league and if we do then that will put us in good stead for next season.”
Ashington boss Gary Middleton said: “It’s great to have Stephen back in the squad and in the dressing room after his horrific break.
“He’s been training with us since Christmas and it’s just been a gradual process for him.
“Obviously he’s come back into the fray a little bit early with the injury to Phill Bell, and we’ve had some awful injuries this season.
“And for a team to do what we have done in the two FA competitions and in with a shout of finishing in the top six of the STL Northern League, I think it is testimony not only to the staff but to the players as well that we are still in and around with the likes of Young, Darren Lough, Jonny Godsmark and now Bell out for long periods.”