Saddlers midfielder Joe Edwards has praised the support he received from his family and friends after making his much anticipated return from injury on Wednesday night against Shrewsbury Town.
The 28-year-old made his first appearance for the club since his injury back in February after coming on as a second half substitute in place of Liam Kinsella.
And the man in the middle was delighted to be back out there doing what he loves doing.
“It’s amazing,” said Edwards. “I have waited nine and half months for that moment.
“It’s taken a lot of hard work and having a lot of supportive people around me to make it happen.
“Then to get that opportunity to play again is something I have dreamt about since the minute it happened.
“My family were here to watch it which was really nice.
“I have only got through it because of the support I have had around me both from my family and friends and from all the boys.
“The staff have been fantastic here at the club.
“I can’t thank Rev enough, he has been magnificent with me.
“There have been some tough times, especially when you are on your own but coming in every day and seeing the boys, having that support from my parents, family and my girlfriend has been amazing.
“It’s been a challenge but something I have taken head on and luckily come out the other side of.”
And Edwards has also praised manager Dean Keates for the patience that he has shown during his recovery and for giving him the chance to get back playing.
“He has been fantastic,” Edwards continued. “He had a hard time coming in and having a player who was out for nine months.
“As a manager, you need all your players available and credit to him, he stuck by me and offered a contract to me.
“And this season he has been brilliant with me, letting me travel and playing me against Shrewsbury.
“He was always asking how I was getting on. And now I am fighting for my shirt again.
“I’ve been looking forward to playing under him and now hopefully we can have some success.”