Bognor defender has missed TWO YEARS of football - but is on way back

After two years on the sidelines, Chad Field is confident he’ll return to action at the start of next season.

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 9:50 am
Chad Field celebrates a Rocks goal against Billericay / Picture: Tommy McMillan

Since tearing his ACL in the 2019 Sussex Senior Cup final, the defender has reluctantly remained in the shadows, recovering.

“It’s been really frustrating,” he said. “Next month will be two years since the injury, and I haven’t kicked a ball and haven’t even had a training session. I’m over the worst of it now so hopefully once coronavirus restrictions are over, I’ll be allowed to join in training full-time.”

Field’s initial return date was pushed back after the Isthmian premier annulled its second successive campaign. The bizarre and unprecedented nature of his injury has left the defender speculating whether he’s a potential record-breaker.

“I said to one of my friends I could have the record for having the longest injury but missing the fewest number of games. Admittedly, it’s made it a little bit easier with no football happening at all. The hardest thing in the first year of the injury was watching the lads play while sitting it out,” he said.

Having experienced a similar knee injury earlier in his career, Field understands the importance of a full recovery. Although his two years out of football have been frustrating and challenging, the pandemic has forced him to take the rehab slowly, which should benefit him in the long run.

“I was out for seven months with a knee injury once before, but when I came back, I tried to jump straight in and played close to every minute of that season. Looking back, I probably wasn’t playing at the same level as before, and I think that’s because I rushed myself a little bit. With this injury, I’ve had close to two years, so hopefully I’ll be close to full fitness when pre-season starts,” Field said.

The 24-year-old had aspirations of playing higher up the football pyramid and while his injury has tainted the dream, Field remains confident Bognor is the right home for him.

“Every footballer would be lying if they said they didn’t want to test themselves at a higher level. I want to keep progressing, but I’ve been out of football for two years now. Everyone knows how brutal the footballing world is: I’ve maybe been forgotten about a little. It’s probably just the Bognor fans and

Bognor coaching staff who know who I am.As harsh as that sounds, I’ve been out of the game a long time and my eyes are fully on Bognor. I’d snap your hand off if you said I’d be able to play week in week out for Bognor at the start of next season,’