The big interview – Colchester United star Sanchez Watt
- Credit: Andrew Partridge
Sanchez Watt, after a year in the doldrums, is back. And he means business!
Colchester United’s flying winger couldn’t have timed his return to the squad any better, following last weekend’s dire 4-0 home defeat to lowly Notts County.
Eager to make up for lost time, Watt could well be employed as an impact substitute by manager Joe Dunne at Oldham this afternoon, and that’s terrific news for everybody connected with the Essex club.
“I just want to get back to playing and show people what they have been missing,” enthused Watt, with a big smile on his face.
“I want to play at Oldham, of course. I haven’t played a game since Leyton Orient (August 31), and even in those games I was a bit injured, so I’m just happy that I am now fully fit at last.
“I feel no pain, so hopefully I will be better than what I was at the start of the season.
“That should help the club move forward.”
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It has been a year to forget for Watt, who was looking to rekindle his career after more than a decade at Arsenal.
Watt’s scheduled three-month loan spell from the Gunners was cruelly cut short by a serious hamstring injury last season. He hobbled off during the disastrous 3-1 defeat at Chelmsford City in the FA Cup, on November 3, 2012, and returned to the Emirates a disconsolate figure.
Watt never kicked a ball in anger again, for the rest of last season.
Instead he underwent an operation, and then took the important decision to sign permanently for the U’s last summer, on a two-year deal.
However, the injuries have continued to haunt Watt, specifically a thigh problem that has sidelined him since the end of August.
Now, the 22-year-old is eager to impress, while also wary of making the same mistakes that have prolonged his spell on the sidelines, and in the treatment room.
“I basically kept playing until the wheels fell off!” confessed Watt.
“They originally told me I would be out for a couple of weeks, but no-one wants to be out for more than a day, so it was hard to take.
“I was working towards that target, but I broke down again, so I took time off again. I came back, but I only trained with the team for one day before getting injured again.
“It kept happening, so we had to get it properly checked out. They found out it was worse than thought, with two thigh strains in both legs.
“It happened first in pre-season, but I could play on it and I think every game it was getting worse.
“I didn’t want to come off the pitch, so I was just treating it before games. As matches went on, it was getting worse and worse.
“As soon as it started hurting, I should have come off and rested it and I would have come back strong, not missing so many games.
“I was only 50% and I still wanted to play, and the gaffer could not stop me. But it got to the point when I couldn’t even run anymore, so I couldn’t play.
“You learn from these things.”
Looking back over his troubled last 12 months, Watt continued: “I sat back and thought – if I add it up, I’ve missed a year out of football.
“Obviously I am still young, so to miss a year out of football is hard to take, because there is a lot you could do in a year.
“I could have had the best game in my life, so to be sitting on the sidelines, back in that zone, really hurt.
“But my revenge is to come back, play a lot of games, and show everyone what they’ve been missing.”
The U’s will also be bolstered by the return of skipper Brian Wilson, after suspension, and Marcus Bean and David Wright, after injury, for today’s test at Boundary Park.