Seamus Coleman has set his sights on a first-team comeback after finally making his return to action after 10 months out of the game.
The defender played just under an hour for the U23 side against Portsmouth at Goodison Park on Tuesday evening.
It was Coleman’s first taste of football since he suffered that sickening broken leg playing for Ireland against Wales last March.
“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.
“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.”
One of the concerns for players returning after such a serious injury is the psychological affect when going into tackles.
Those fears were eased when Coleman flew into a 50-50 challenge after just 20 minutes, something he was determined to do to prove he is over his injury psychologically as well as physically.
“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.”
Evertonians will be desperate for Coleman to return to the first-team that his missed his dynamism down the right flank as well as his leadership and experience during a difficult campaign to date.
With the Leicester game still a week away there’s an outside chance he could be named on the bench, though Coleman isn’t looking too far ahead.
“It’s just a case of going game by game now. For now, it’s get back into training and try to impress the manager by working hard and fingers crossed, it wont be long before I am back out there.
“Training has been going great so far. I have enjoyed every second and I am just thankful to be back out there.”
We’re thankful too, Seamus!