Lewis Houston - delighted to be back in action after injury

Posted : 23rd February 2018

Jamie Megarry of Linfieldfc.com in conversation with Lewis Houston after his return to the Linfield Swifts team in midweek.

Linfield Swifts midfielder Lewis Houston had a night to remember on Wednesday. Not only did the 20 year-old return to the fold for the first time in a year after overcoming a cruciate ligament injury, but he also came off the bench to net the winner in the Swifts’ important 3-2 victory over Cliftonville Olympic in Bangor. Speaking to LinfieldFC.com on Thursday, Lewis was understandably overjoyed, describing his return to the pitch as ‘one of the best feelings ever.’

“It was honestly one of the best feelings ever, getting back out onto the pitch last night. The feeling of pulling the blue shirt on again was the reason I worked so hard over the past year. The goal was a strange one actually. I was told before I went on that I was on corner duty. However, I told Rooster (Ryan Strain) to swing it in and I went and stood on the keeper. He whipped in a great ball and I just managed to nip in front of the keeper to head it home.”

The road to recovery can be very tough, both mentally and physically, for many players, but Lewis has been helped along the way with great support from throughout the Club with many connected with Linfield - from supporters to players – helping fund the operation to prevent a prolonged wait on the waiting list for the op. Lewis said he was very thankful for all the support and encouragement and wanted to place his appreciation on record.

“The road to recovery has been a lot easier than I expected but that was all down to the people around me, my family, my friends, my girlfriend, my teammates, coaches and of course a special mention has to go to physio Paul Butler, in particular. I was seeing Paul every single week when possible and we just kept setting short term targets and working towards them and that made it a lot easier for me, so I can’t thank Paul and also Terry Hayes enough for what they have done for me. I’d also like to thank Alan Dornan in particular for all his encouragement and support throughout. He has been and continues to be a very positive influence and for that, I will always be grateful.”

“What the Club have done for me is something that I will never forget. I’d just like to thank the chairman, the manager and his staff, as well as all the players, Alan Dornan and all of the Linfield supporters because they were the reason I was able to get my operation as soon as I did and they helped me get on the road to recovery as soon as possible. As a Blue man, I’m extremely grateful for what everybody has done and this is the exact reason why Linfield is the only club for me.”

The midfield enforcer assures that he’s feeling comfortable in action and is already feeling sharp again, with a special mention for Paul Butler, the Linfield physio, whose expert guidance has helped Lewis back to fitness.

“I knew that I would always work hard enough to get myself back in the blue shirt and I definitely had the right people around me to keep me heading in the right direction. I couldn’t wait to get started with my rehab and was keen to do as much as possible as soon as I could. I’ve felt really good, I’ve been training with the team since the beginning of January and of course, it took me a few sessions to find my feet again but I’m feeling really good. My fitness levels are strong and I was always comfortable that I would be fit and ready to go when I was cleared to play and that’s again down to Paul Butler.”

The Banbridge native finished by underlining his hunger to achieve more with the Swifts in the coming months, with a view to hopefully making the step-up to the first team fold at some stage in the not-so-distant future.

“I’m really excited for the future. The opportunities are massive at this club thanks to the Gaffer, and every player involved in the Swifts team believes that they can eventually break through into the first team. It was a massive win for us against Cliftonville, who have played a lot of games compared to us, but we know where we will be placed, if we win our games in hand. Of course, the main focus for us is developing as players but it’s important at Linfield to make sure we are winning trophies and that’s what we will aim to do, come the end of the season.”

A warm welcome return to Lewis and best of luck to the young midfielder for the remainder of the season, as he aims to lift more trophies with his beloved Linfield.
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