Crawley Town striker Harrold warns: ‘This is not the end of my career’

Harrold in action against Mansifeld
Harrold in action against Mansifeld

Matt Harrold wants to confound the critics who think his latest injury set-back signals the end of his career.

Last Friday Crawley Town confirmed he could be out of action for three months with an Achilles Tendon injury.

Harrold first got injured at the end of last season and missed the last few weeks of the campaign after having a knee operation in order to be fit and raring to go for this season.

However he was still suffering from problems related to his knee at the start of this cmapaign, resulting in him having to miss some pre-season games.

To make things worse, he then tore the Achilles on his right leg, which resulted in him having to wear a protective boot and miss much of this season.

Having only just got back into the team having had several months out of action with a knee and Achilles injuries, this latest news would put most people into depression.

However Harrold has been in this situation before and he knows if his rehab goes well, he can return to the side for a good chunk of this season.

He revealed: “I scored against Bristol Rovers and it had started to niggle and then I felt something go during training for the Sussex Senior Cup game against Langney Sports.

“I had a scan the next day and it showed a 7cm tear in my left Achilles.

“I felt deep in a daze for a few days afterwards - you work so hard to get over other issues and this happens.

“You just have to get on with it - other people are much worse off.

“There were two players in the Premier League with cruciate ligament injuries this week.

“It is not the end of the world. Having to have my foot in a boot for five weeks is horrendous.

“You have to sleep in it and it’s so itchy and uncomfortable.

“But I have done it before so I know I can do it.

“I have been told by my consultant it’s common to do this to your other Achilles after first injuring the other one.

“The trouble is, everyone writes you off, at 32.

“But I’m determined to come back and prove people wrong.

“Previously I injured my cruciate and missed a lot of the season when I was at Bristol Rovers. But I came back and was fine.

“Life is unfair but you’ve got to try to not be too disheartened.”

Harrold plans to continue to have treatment and rehab at Crawley Town and may also attend the National Football Centre in St George’s Park, Burton.

He added: “Three months on the sidelines is probably a generous estimate, I hope to be better before that time - and I will hopefully be back for the run-in and score some more goals to help the lads!”

Harrold told the club website: “I just felt it go on Monday during training. I’m absolutely devastated and I cannot believe my luck at the moment with injuries.

“Since I came back I’ve loved helping the boys so this is a real blow. For a couple of days this week as you can imagine I was pretty low but I can promise the fans that I will be working hard to make sure this is the last of my injuries.”

Head coach Dermot Drummy said: “It’s really bad news for Matt and the group as a whole.

“He has been extremely unlucky with injuries and is going to be a big loss while he recovers.

“We just hope that when he comes back it will be the end of his bad luck and he can play a full part for us in the last few months of the season.”

Drummy admitted Reds will miss Harrold in their forthcoming games.

He said: “The news about Matt Harrold’s injury is really devastating.

“He has torn his other Achilles, which is rotten luck.

“He will be really missed - he is a super character.

“The way he carried on playing with a broken nose at Bristol to the number nines of old.”

Harrold is in his third season at Crawley, having been recruited in 2014 by previous manager John Gregory.

After a season mainly on the sidelines, he became a real legend with the fans when he deputised in goal during a 2-2 draw against MK Dons.

Last season he finally prospered under in his regular role as a striker.

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