Why Bognor are set for plenty of Field days

After two years on the sidelines, Chad Field is confident he’ll be returning to action at the start of next season.

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 8:00 am
Chad Field in action in the 2018-19 season - which was the last one he featured in / Picture: Tommy McMillan

Since tearing his ACL in the 2019 Sussex Senior Cup final, the defender has reluctantly remained in the shadows, recovering.

"It’s been really frustrating," he admitted. "Next month will be two years since the injury, and I haven’t kicked a ball, haven’t even had a training session. I’m over the worst of it now so hopefully once coronavirus restrictions are over, I’ll be allowed to join in training full-time."

Field’s initial return date was pushed back to the start of the next season after the Isthmian premier annulled its second successive campaign. The bizarre and unprecedented nature of his injury has left the defender speculating whether he’s a potential record-breaker.

Chad Field celebrates a goal against Billericay in 2017 / Picture: Tommy McMillan

"I said to one of my friends the other day that I could have the record for having the longest injury but missing the fewest number of games. Admittedly, it’s made it a little bit easier with no football happening at all. The hardest thing in the first year of the injury was watching the lads play on Saturdays whilst sitting out," he said.

Having experienced a similar injury earlier in his career, Field understands the importance of a full recovery when dealing with knees. Although his two years out of football have been frustrating and challenging, the pandemic has forced him to take the rehabilitation slowly, which should benefit his recovery in the long run.

"I was out for seven months with a knee injury once before, but when I came back, I tried to jump straight in and played close to every minute of that season. Looking back, I probably wasn’t playing at the same level as before, and I think that’s because I rushed myself back a little bit. With this injury, I’ve had close to two years, so hopefully I’ll be close to full fitness when pre-season starts," Field shared.

As a former academy graduate at Pompey, the 24-year-old once had aspirations of playing higher up the football pyramid. Needless to say, the two-year setback has tainted the dream somewhat, but Field remains confident Nyewood Lane is the right home for him.

"Every footballer would be lying if they said they didn’t want to test themselves at a higher level. Of course, I want to keep progressing, but I’ve been out of football for two years now. Everyone knows how brutal the footballing world is: I’ve maybe been forgotten about a little.

"It’s probably just the Bognor fans and Bognor coaching staff who know who I am. As harsh as that sounds, I’ve been out of the game a long time and my eyes are fully on Bognor. I’d snap your hand off if you said I’d be able to play week in week out for Bognor at the start of next season," added the defender.

With pre-season set to restart in late June or early July, management duo Pearce and Blake will no doubt be pleased to welcome Field back to training, as they look to assemble a competitive squad once again.