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'It was great to be able to feel like a footballer again': Coleman savours Everton return

The Ireland captain is hoping to return to first-team action in the coming weeks.

After 305 days out injured, the Ireland captain returned to action last night.
After 305 days out injured, the Ireland captain returned to action last night.
Image: Everton/Twitter

SEAMUS COLEMAN ADMITS it was great to be able to ‘feel like a real footballer again’ after he made his long-awaited comeback from injury for Everton’s U23 side last night.

The Ireland captain played 58 minutes in Everton’s 3-0 win over Portsmouth at Goodison Park, marking his return from the horror double-leg break he suffered in the World Cup qualifier against Wales last March.

After completing a lengthy rehabilitation programme, Coleman came through last night’s game unscathed and has targeted a return to first-team action with Sam Allardyce’s side in the coming weeks.

The 29-year-old left no doubt as to his fitness and commitment levels by making a crunching tackle on Portsmouth midfielder Jez Bedford.

“That was more for me than it was the young lad,” he said of the challenge. “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.

“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.

“Training has been going great so far. I have enjoyed every second and I am just thankful to be back out there.”

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