Scott’s ready to con­trib­ute now that in­jury woes over

Ajax mid­fielder ad­mits they can ex­pect a tough fix­ture against Plat­inum

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - ROD­NEY REIN­ERS

GRAN­WALD SCOTT is grad­u­ally mak­ing his way back to full fit­ness – and it won’t be long be­fore the ex­pe­ri­enced Ajax Cape Town mid­fielder is mix­ing it with the best in the PSL.

Hav­ing re­turned from a frus­trat­ing in­jury- en­forced spell on the side­lines, Scott is be­ing brought on slowly by coach Muhsin Er­tu­gral. He has come off the bench in the sec­ond half in the past few fixtures and he should be cherry-ripe for the sec­ond half of the sea­son next year.

Ajax head into the fi­nal game of the year this evening when they host Plat­inum Stars at the Cape Town Sta­dium (kick-off 8.15pm) and it’s likely that Er­tu­gral will again use Scott as an im­pact player.

But things looked rather bleak for the foot­baller from Fac­tre­ton a few months ago.

Al­ways an in­flu­en­tial mem­ber of the Ajax squad, Scott has strug­gled to em­u­late the form he showed un­der Dutch coach Foppe de Haan a few years ago.

Just 26, it would seem that the mid­fielder has been around the PSL for­ever, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing that he has been play­ing at this level for a decade al­ready.

PWD Chiefs 13 8 3 2 Sun­downs 12 7 3 2 Wits 12 6 4 2 Swal­lows 13 6 3 4 AmaZulu 14 5 5 4 Su­perS­port 12 5 4 3 Ajax CT 13 5 4 4 Plat Stars 13 5 4 4 Black Aces 13 4 5 4 Bloem Celtic 13 3 7 3 Polok­wane 14 4 2 8 U Pre­to­ria 14 4 2 8 Pi­rates 7 4 1 2 Mar­itzburg 14 3 3 8 FS Stars 13 3 3 7 Ar­rows 14 3 1 10

LFA Pts 18 9 27 24 12 24 12 6 22 19 15 21 16 19 20 18 14 19 14 14 19 14 15 19 12 13 17 18 18 16 15 18 14 10 13 14 9 5 13 10 17 12 10 18 12 9 22 10

Er­tu­gral, for one, is happy to have the player back and train­ing, and mo­ti­vated and de­ter­mined to make a con­tri­bu­tion to the team’s suc­cess.

“Scott is get­ing bet­ter ev­ery week,” said the Ajax coach. “I’ve al­ways con­sid­ered him to be one of the best mid­field­ers in the coun­try. It is un­for­tu­nate that he has had so many prob­lems with in­jury. It ap­pears to be sorted now and the med­i­cal and fit­ness staff are work­ing on him ev­ery day.

“He is still not yet where I want him to be, in terms of phys­i­cal shape, but it shouldn’t be too long be­fore he’s back to his best.”

Scott ad­mit­ted that he had gone through a re­ally tor­rid time.

“I in­jured my knee last sea­son and was out for a while,” said Scott. “But the prob­lem, I think, was when I came back this sea­son. I pushed too hard, too soon. I wanted to do too much when the in­jury wasn’t per­haps fully re­cov­ered. This led to side ef­fects on other ar­eas, like my ham­strings and quads.

“As a re­sult of this, it has taken more than 12 weeks for me to get back to train­ing with the PSL squad. So now, it’s one day at a time... I will not make the same mis­take again.

“The coaches and med­i­cal staff have me on a spe­cial train­ing pro­gramme to make sure that my re­ha­bil­i­a­tion goes well, and that I don’t break down this time.”

Look­ing ahead to tonight’s fix­ture against Plat­inum, Scott was fully aware of the chal­lenge that awaited Ajax.

“It should be a re­ally tough game,” said Scott. “Plat­inum have done very well re­cently. We watched their re­cent Cup fi­nal win over Or­lando Pi­rates and they were un­be­liev­able.

“They have a great style of foot­ball and they have be­lief in the each other and their team as a whole. They are a hardrun­ning bunch of foot­ballers who never give up.

“We are go­ing to have to be at our best.”

GOOD TO BE BACK: Gran­wald Scott is happy now that his frus­trat­ing time on the side­lines is over.

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