LAST season’s top scorer Matty Hill could possibly return to the matchday squad after injury for Saturday’s JD Welsh Cup tie away to Newtown (2pm kick off).
He has missed the last five games, but manager Steve Evans reported: “Matty is back in training this week and will be assessed with potentially being available for this week or next.”
That is welcome news in a week when it was revealed that Alfie Brooks and Guto Williams both face being sidelined long term with knee injuries.
The manager continued: “Matty’s injury came at a terrible time for him as he had just established himself in the team with some impressive performances and we’ve certainly missed his quality and athleticism over the last month. Its great to see him back on the grass.
“We’ve been hit with a few nasty injuries of late, most notably Alfie (Brooks) and Guto (Williams).
“Alfie had established himself as the No 1 with some commanding performances.
“He has been pushed constantly by Jiff (Joe Smith), who has had to be patient and now, although the circumstances are not great, he gets his opportunity. The healthy competition the both have had will have helped Jiff who is ready to come into the team on Saturday.
“Meanwhile we wish Alfie a speedy recovery and hope to see him back soon.
“Guto is going to be a longer rehab as he requires surgery.
“I feel for Guto as he had to be patient before establishing himself in the team and was performing at a high level week in week out. To then sustain this injury is devastating for him, but he is strong minded young man.
“With the help of our physio team, myself and everyone at the club he is in safe hands. It may seem a long road ahead, but it is one he’ll face head on and come back fitter and stronger than before.
“It is always hard having a long term injury. I had nearly two years out with two Achilles injuries straight after each other and it was probably the toughest period I’ve had in football. You set yourself little goals and then you reach them one by one and start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. When you step out on the grass again you are like a new player, but you have to keep yourself controlled and not try to run before you can walk. At first you are like a kid in a sweet shop, excited and running around like a maniac…..well I was anyway!!!
“We have a fantastic physio department who have been busier than we’d have liked this season, although to get players who have been injured back and available in the time scales they have is a credit to them and the work they do.”
Saturday’s game at Latham Park is a tough draw for the Seagulls against a Newtown side that are fourth in the JD Cymru Premier table, and won 4-2 in the league meeting at the 4 Crosses Arena in September, although they are winless in their last three league games (two defeats and a draw), two of which have been at home.
Evo added: “We are really looking forward to Saturday. We know we have the quality to compete and hurt them and there is a real positive energy within the squad.
“We gave ourselves too much of a mountain to climb last time in the league against them, and we know we can’t be giving teams a head start as the games are tough enough as it is.
“We were the better team for large periods in that game and got ourselves in a position where I felt we could have got something from the game. That didn’t happen, although the togetherness we showed is what is going to get us out of the position we are in. We all need to dig deeper, work harder for one another and stick together along with the Seagull fans.
“We do that, then I believe we will be giving the Seagulls something to cheer about sooner rather than later.
“Safe travels to all the Seagulls who’ll be at Newtown on Saturday. We can’t wat to see you all.”