It’s 100 days since Freddie Sears last started a game for Colchester United!
- Credit: Archant
Freddie Sears, more than any other Colchester United player, is desperate to get playing again.
Sears has not started a game for 100 days, and has not played a full 90 minutes for an amazing 129 days.
The ex-West Ham attacker’s opportunities were initially hindered by a long-term hamstring injury, but he overcame those fitness problems going into the new year.
In recent weeks, though, it has been the appalling weather, leading to waterlogged pitches, which have plagued both Sears and the rest of his U’s team-mates.
The latest disappointment was last Saturday, when the U’s scheduled home game against promotion-chasing Rotherham was called off following an 8.30am pitch inspection, due to a waterlogged surface at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
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It now means that 24 days will have elapsed, between the U’s last outing, a 4-2 win at Carlisle on January 18, and their next game at Port Vale this evening.
Just as frustrating has also been the U’s inability to train on grass, due to the saturated conditions at their Florence Park training ground.
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“I’m desperate to play,” insisted Sears.
“We are all just itching to play, but the weather is killing it at the minute.
“It’s been very cold and wet, and it’s hard for everyone.
“People don’t realise how much it changes, with day-to-day basic stuff, like we haven’t been able to train on grass a lot.
“I think we’ve only had two sessions on grass in the last two weeks, and that’s not ideal, especially for some of the older boys like Willow (Brian Wilson) and Wrighty (David Wright) to be training on Astroturf.
“Your body doesn’t feel as good as it should on the Astroturf, so sometimes it does feel more of a chore.
“It’s not ideal, but we’ve got through it.
“We have had some good sessions, and we managed to squeeze in a game (a friendly against Ipswich Town under-21s towards the end of last month) and tried another one (the previous weekend), although that didn’t happen.
“But now I just need to be playing, just as everybody else is desperate for a game,” added Sears.
The one blessing for Sears, with all this recent inactivity, has been the extra time allowed for the 24-year-old to fully put all his injury woes behind him. His first attempt to bounce back from a damaged hamstring, incurred inside the first half-hour of the 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury on October 22, was scuppered by aggravating the problem early on in his comeback start at Preston on November 3.
“In a way, the bad weather has helped me a little bit, to get a bit more fitness, so I’m trying to look at it both ways,” continued Sears.
“I felt really good coming through a 45-minute game (against Ipswich last month), and I’m just itching to play now, just as everybody else is.
“This time I have had plenty of time, unlike last time, which has probably helped.
“The gaffer has been good with that, seeing that I don’t rush back, and it’s the same with a lot of the boys.
“You can see the results of that, with Sanchez (Watt) doing well at the moment, and also Gav (Massey) back in the squad.
“I think a lot of people had forgotten about Gavin.
“The squad is looking really strong,” added Sears.
Sears, and Massey, should both be on the bench at Vale Park tonight.