Sebastian Pasquali made his long-awaited return from injury on Monday night in Western United’s 1-0 win over Newcastle Jets.
223 days since his last A-League appearance, Pasquali came on in the 88th minute at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle.
The 21-year-old was happy that the hours spent during recovery finally paid off and that he could re-join his teammates on the pitch.
“It was a great feeling being back amongst the team,” Pasquali said.
“It was exciting to feel the energy and build up around the game again.
“It was a long return to play; the physios and support staff played a huge role in getting me back with their diligent planning and treatment along the way.
“Many hours of gym and field training apart from the group were completed and it has made me feel strong and confident in my body.”
Pasquali last featured for United in the club’s 2-0 semi-final loss to Melbourne City in August last year.
He then battled a hip issue as well as osteitis pubis, forcing an extended stint on the sidelines.
Pasquali pays credit to a number of people in and outside the club who helped him during his recovery.
“I had some really good positive support from everyone at the club and they all made me feel connected to the team throughout my rehab.
“I had a slow build-up of running and strength and stability work led by club physios, Shane Carr and Daniel Hanna.
“The transition back into team training that was overseen by strength and conditioning coaches Andrew Rondinelli and Massimo Murdocca have made me have that extra confidence and sharpness in my body.
“I had ongoing chiro work by Maurice Luna, and massage therapists are also very vital to keep everything calm so I can go 100%.
“This made it easy to keep focused on the end goal of returning to play because I felt I could still contribute to the team.”
Pasquali’s attention has now turned to finding a place in the team, saying the talent in the squad will keep him hungry.
“We have some great talented players in all positions in our team, this brings the best out of you and keeps you hungry to improve.”
Western United will take on Wellington Phoenix this Sunday, 11 April at WIN Stadium in Wollongong. Kick-off is 7:05pm.