Phillips has still got it, says Welford

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport - By Craig Tucker

Shaun Welford says he al­ways be­lieved Mickey Phillips re­tired too early.

The Ash­ford United mid­fielder, who has un­der­gone 13 knee op­er­a­tions in an in­jury-hit ca­reer, gave up the game in Fe­bru­ary af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with arthri­tis in his back.

How­ever, he has re­turned to pre­sea­son train­ing at Home­lands and as­sis­tant boss Welford said: “I al­ways knew it was too pre­ma­ture.

“He was play­ing with a knee in­jury last sea­son and was get­ting frus­trated.

“It was the frus­tra­tion more than any­thing that made him hang up his boots be­cause he knew what he was ca­pa­ble of – we all did – and his knee was stop­ping him hit­ting his full po­ten­tial.

“He’s still got it and a fit Mickey Phillips is the first name on the teamsheet for any team. He’s mag­i­cal and he’s still got it. It’s all in his head. He’s a proper foot­baller, he’s still got that pro­fes­sional at­ti­tude.”

Mean­while, club record goalscorer Welford is rel­ish­ing the new chal­lenge in Bostik South this sea­son.

He said: “For the past three sea­sons I thought it was go­ing to be my last but keep on scor­ing those goals and you’ve got to carry on.

“Af­ter scor­ing 48 last sea­son, I think I’d be a fool just to stop.

“The last thing I want to do is be em­bar­rassed on the field and make a fool of my­self but I still feel fit, still feel I’ve got a lot to of­fer, so I’ll have an­other go.”

He added: “The game is chang­ing a bit. The old-school cen­tre-for­ward has gone out of fash­ion.

“You don’t see a lot of them about nowa­days. You can’t ex­actly get away with as much as we used to back in the day.

“A lot of teams, es­pe­cially be­cause of the 3G pitches, they make use of it and play out-and-out foot­ball.

“You still get bad pitches and then you need to go di­rect – that’s where I come into it.”

Pic­ture: Andy Jones

Ash­ford United keeper Ge­orge Ka­murasi

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.