Hyatt happy to be back after neck injury
While he may be fighting for a place in the starting eleven, Arnett Gardens goalkeeper Damian Hyatt is just happy to be back with his teammates.
The 33-year-old skipper made his return to action last Wednesday in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) in their 1-1 draw against league leaders Waterhouse. It was ironic given that it was the same team that he suffered the frightening neck injury which would sideline him for two months. He said that it was immense back in the goal again after the long lay-off.
"It's a great feeling[after] out for a couple of months. It's great to be back doing what you love," he told STAR Sports.
There were concerns of the severity of the injury to the 'Junglists' captain after he was involved in a collision with a Waterhouse player during their first meeting of the season at Drewsland on October 13. Tied at 1-1 in the second half, Hyatt came forward to punch a ball out of the penalty area and ended up motionless on the floor after the collision. He said that he wasn't aware of what happened until he was en route to the hospital.
"At the time I didn't know what was going on until I woke up in the ambulance, [then] I realised what took place," he said.
Thankful for the support
To the relief of Hyatt and the club, his recovery was on schedule and he was thankful of the support he received but he is ready to lead from the back once more for his team.
"It was a quick recovery. It didn't take too long and my teams and friends supported me when I was injured. But I feel good and I'm back and playing again," he said.
Arnett Gardens have not only managed to steady the course in his absence they have ascended to third in the table with 30 points, thanks in part to the performance of 19-year- old Chadeem Rodrigues who has stepped in goal and has acquitted himself well.
"When I was watching him I knew that he is good youngster. Arnett has three quality goalkeepers. Any one of us can go in the goal at any given time. So I have to just step up to the plate and do the job," he said.
Rodrigues returned to the starting line-up in their 2-1 away win against Harbour View on Sunday and though head coach Alex Thomas has said that every place is up for grabs, including who starts in goal, Hyatt is relishing the chance to fight for his place.
"I'm already ready to challenge for anything. But [Rodrigues] is keeping well and I'm pleased with what he is doing," he said.
Arnett Gardens host Dunbeholden at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Sunday.