Jimmy Ryan has revealed his sheer delight at returning to the pitch after a prolonged spell on the sidelines.
The Seasiders’ club captain ended a 12-month wait for a first-team appearance by featuring in the second-half against Gillingham on Saturday, having been blighted by knee trouble for the whole of the 2018/19 campaign.
“I was delighted to be back on the pitch. I knew I’d missed it, but you don’t realise how much until you’re actually out there,” he said. “Obviously, I’ve got a bit of a taste for it now, even though I have to wait until pre-season for another kick. I can put an absolute nightmare of a season behind me and move on now.”
The 30-year-old saw numerous specialists to get to the bottom of his injury and also had surgery, with his last previous appearance for Blackpool coming at the end of the 2017/18 season.
“It was a dark time, to be honest, not getting many answers. Finally, we got to the bottom of it and got it sorted and I’m just glad to be back and playing. I’m happy,” he admitted.
“I’m just delighted that is behind me and I don’t want to look back. Everybody has injuries in their careers, and mine was just a frustrating one.
“I now feel like a young kid again, with the bit between my teeth to go and prove people wrong and that I’m still the player I was. I’m gutted that I’ve got to wait so long now for another kickabout.”
The midfielder, who made 38 appearances in his first year with the club, is now waiting to hear what the future holds, given that his contract expires this summer.
“The manager has got a meeting and he is going to let me know. I’d love to stay here - I’ve had a good one year and a frustrating second year.
“I feel like I’ve got a lot to offer the team when I’m back fit and with a good pre-season under my belt, I’ll be the same player I was. I’d like to think I proved that a little bit in the Gillingham game,” he added.