Seamus Coleman made his long awaited his comeback last night as Everton Under-23s secured a 3-0 win over Portsmouth at Goodison Park.
The Donegal man made his first appearance since breaking his leg in a World Cup qualifier for the Republic of Ireland against Wales back in March 2017.
But he showed no ill effects after completing an hour:
“To be able to walk out the tunnel and see the stadium was great. I managed to get some minutes under my belt and that was fantastic. I treated it like a first-team game and gave it everything.
“I’ve been looking forward to that moment for the last few months – just being able to get the kit on, doing up the shin-pads, rolling my socks up and walking out there. It was great to be able to feel like a footballer again – it’s a fantastic feeling.”
<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">ðŸ”µ | Seamus Coleman on why his return from injury was such a special moment...<a href="https://t.co/eBKBeMBtGt">https://t.co/eBKBeMBtGt</a> <a href="https://t.co/hTu5vEOyZs">pic.twitter.com/hTu5vEOyZs</a></p>— Everton (@Everton) <a href="https://twitter.com/Everton/status/955953318219587584?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 24, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Coleman showed no aversion to the tough tackling that has earned him the reputation as one of the strongest and most consistent defenders in the Premier League.
He got stuck on early on with a crunching tackle on a Portsmouth player, speaking about that moment Coleman told evertonfc.com:
“That was more for me than it was the young lad!
“I just told him that at the time as well and he was fine with it.
“I knew tackles and things like that were never going to be a bother. That one was more for the few fans that were here that there are no psychological effects.
“I enjoyed the game. It was great for it to be here at Goodison Park it made it that little bit more special. They tried to change the game when I could be involved and thankfully they have been able to do it.