Melbourne Heart FC midfielder Orlando Engelaar has made a successful return from a broken leg which has kept him sidelined since the beginning of the season.
Melbourne Heart FC midfielder Orlando Engelaar has made a successful return from a broken leg which has kept him sidelined since the pre-season.
The marquee player made his debut for the Red and White in its 3-1 win over the Newcastle Jets last Friday and spoke about his return to football at Heart-s training session at Epping Soccer Stadium on Wednesday morning.
“I felt great, I-ve been away for quite some time; I think it was four-and-a-half months, so it-s just great to be on the pitch again, that-s what you look forward to when you get injured and the people were fantastic; they gave me a really good welcome," Engelaar said.
“My leg was OK, that was something that I didn-t even think about so that says a lot and I felt pretty comfortable.
Relive the moment Orlando Engelaar entered the field of play against the Jets to make his Melbourne Heart FC debut
“It-s always hard to get in a game [after coming on as a substitute]but it-s even harder if you haven-t played for four months so after a few minutes I was pretty tired, but that-s just something that you need to get over and then you just go along with the pace of the game.
“The boys made it easy for me too. We played really well; I think we were the better team, so I felt good.”
The Dutchman was especially appreciative of the welcome he received from Heart-s supporters when he took to the field against Newcastle.
Click play on the video below to watch the full press conference.
“It-s fantastic, it-s beautiful to have a welcome like that," he said.
“Even though people say you-re used to big things in Europe, all that doesn-t matter, for any player it doesn-t matter how big you are or who you are, if you get a welcome like that, it just does something to you and it feels good.”
Engelaar said that his teammates where very supportive of him throughout his his time on the sidelines.
“Everybody has been very good to me and very helpful and I could feel from the start that they really felt bad for me when I broke my leg, so it just made me want to come back even harder and faster," he said.
The midfielder credited the Club-s medical staff and some help from specialists back home for his fast return from injury.
“In Holland I was also in contact with a specialist there and he already said from the start that he thought it was possible to come back in this amount of time," Engelaar said.
"He had a good talk with the specialists here and they worked together so I am glad that I got back pretty fast for a broken leg and the people here who helped me are fantastic."
The Dutch marquee is now looking forward to putting in a consistent performance for his Club, starting with their upcoming match against Adelaide United on Saturday night.
“It-s hard not being with the team from the start, because you want to be there to help them out and be as good as you can, so not being able to do that has been hard but I am looking forward to being there now every weekend," he said.
“I-ve seen Adelaide play a few times and I think they are a pretty good team on the ball but they are very vulnerable when they don-t have the ball so that is something that we need to take advantage of.”