Linfield Rangers defender Tomas Gilmour marked his return from a long injury lay-off in style last week. Making his first start for 14 months, Gilmour popped up with an equaliser in a 2-2 draw against Carrick Rangers u18s last Friday. Linfieldfc.com has been catching up with the overjoyed centre back, who was very honest about his injury struggles.
“I ruptured my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) at the start of January 2019 on a school trip in Italy. After my surgery in February 2019, I tried to stay away from football as much as possible – so much so that I was choosing to watch American football or basketball games instead of football. I found that if I watched football or even thought about it, it made me sad or somewhat depressed at times.
“Once I began my rehab, that’s when I started to regain my love for the sport and it became my main focus again. I then began training with Terry Hayes and Paul Butler, the two physios, around September or October time last year. I was then able to rejoin training with the rest of the team in November. Back then it was strange and quite difficult, I had to really focus on my mechanics to ensure I was walking and running properly. Then, when I got the ball at my feet again I was a bit rusty but the touch and feel for the game came back to me within a few sessions.”
Although he believes the draw was a disappointing result, scoring the goal will be a moment he’ll always remember after everything he’d been through.
“Being a defender means I don’t get many scoring opportunities, so when the opportunity came last week, I made sure that I made the most of it. Scoring in itself is an amazing feeling but doing it in my first full game back was really special, not only to me but the people who have supported me on my journey back.
“I feel my strongest position is centre back but I also enjoy playing right back or left back. I joined Linfield in 2013, so this June will mark my seventh season at the club. I joined from my local club, St. Mary’s FC, who I can’t speak of highly enough.
“Currently the under 18s are 6th in the table, a position we aren’t happy with but at this point in the season it’s all about finishing strong and making sure and making sure we set ourselves up for moving onto the Swifts and maybe some players hopefully making the first team in future.”
Well done to Tomas and a welcome return to the young defender who also celebrated his 18th birthday last week.