Ryland’s return a big boost for Felixstowe

FELIXSTOWE & Walton United skipper Matt Ryland’s return to action is a big boost ahead of Saturday’s FA Vase First Round proper tie at home to Haverhill Rovers.

Ryland had missed four matches – all of which ended in defeat – after being laid low by tendonitis, before returning to the team for Tuesday’s 2-0 Ridgeons League Premier Division win at FC Clacton.

The 25-year-old left back or central defender said: “I felt it after the first game of the season against Wroxham, and managed to play through it thereafter until it got to the point where I felt it could be a long-term injury.”

After playing in pain during the first couple of months of the season, it became so bad he had to drop out of the team while doing the warm-up for the Ridgeons League match at Brantham on October 4.

Ryland then faced an anxious wait before the injury was properly diagnosed, and was relieved to learn he was suffering from tendonitis as opposed to tendinosis, which could have ruled him out for months rather than weeks.

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“Tendinosis is the far worse of the two and it takes a lot longer to heal, plus you are less likely to fully recover from it, so it was a big relief to me to be told it was tendonitis.”

It is the second season running that the popular Ryland, who swept the board at the end-of-season player of the year awards, has played through the pain barrier for Felixstowe & Walton.

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Last season he played four matches with a broken ankle after the injury was initially wrongly diagnosed. After missing several weeks of the season Ryland returned to action on January 3, when the games started coming thick and fast after the weather caused so many postponements either side of Christmas.

Although it initially took him two or three days to get over the effects after a game, Ryland returned to full fitness and played a major role in the Seasiders avoiding relegation in the second half of the season.

Ryland and Felixstowe will be hoping history repeats itself.

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