Spanish midfielder Angel Martinez could not hide his delight following his return to football in last night’s 8-0 DCFA Senior Challenge Cup victory over Aston United.Angel replaced Charlie Wakefield at the interval, in what was his first Spireites appearance in 15 months following a knee injury, and received a rapturous ovation from the home supporters.
Speaking exclusively to PlayerHD, Angel said: “It was very special for me to come back, and to have a very special welcome back from the fans and all of the players.
“I’ve come a long way, and there’s still a long way to go for me to get back to 100%, but it’s a big step for me to be involved in real football again.”
Angel saw plenty of the ball as the Spireites ran out emphatic winners, with the Spaniard capping off a successful return by producing a superb lofted pass, that Ricky German latched on to and completed his hat-trick.
He said: “The first 10-15 minutes was difficult for me to get the tempo of the game, but after that I was getting better and better.
“I was getting more confident with the ball and finally I could do one of the things that I’m best at – passing - looking forward and in behind it was the first pass in behind that I’ve done because in training I’ve not had the confidence to do it, so it’s nice. Maybe it just looks like a pass but for me it’s a big moment and a big step to be able to do that.”
The midfielder has overcome many big steps during his time away from the game, and now his focus is on returning to the Spireites first team after further reserve team outings.
“The plan is to get reserve games maybe a couple or three, and then be able to get into the first team,” he said.
“Obviously I need some adaptation, but the confidence is massive, my fitness is getting better, so I just need a few weeks to get fitter and strength into the leg. I’ve missed a lot of games and it’s been frustrating to not help the team, I felt useless, so I wasn't at my best every day.
"Unfortunately, there were some setbacks with my operations but I don’t want to think about it, now I’m feeling better every day and I want to think about playing with the team.
“I want to look forward and be positive and of course with the help of my team mates I felt the love from the fans and that kept me going. I want to look forward, the past and the injury are gone and now we’ll see another Angel for the rest of the season.”