KYLE Critchell admitted the emotion flooded out of him when he found the back of the net in his first game back after recovering from a life-threatening condition.
The popular Weymouth midfielder who is now an integral part of the club’s reserve set-up, hit a sweet 25-yard strike for the Terras’ reserves in their 5-0 pre-season win over Romsey Town.
Getting back on the pitch was something Critchell feared he would never do after being diagnosed with severe sepsis last year, but now the 27-year-old has fully recovered and is back playing, he is embracing every minute of it.
Speaking about his first game back, Critchell told Echosport: “I think it was more of an overwhelming sense of relief just to prove everyone wrong who said that I wouldn’t play again or probably walk again, which was branded at the early stages of my diagnosis.
“It was amazing and it was probably the most nervous I have been in my whole career.
“It was really nice to score, my partner and my dad were there, which was really nice and they both saw the emotions come out even in a reserve game.
“As soon as I took the shot I knew it was going in, I connected with it so sweetly and I was 25-yards outside the box. When it went in I put my arms up, it sounds sentimental but I just wanted to cry.
“It was a special occasion and I am proud to have been able to step foot on the football pitch again and put everything behind me.”
The former Southampton man is also eager to pass on his knowledge of the game to the younger members of the Weymouth reserve squad.
“I am just getting involved because I want the younger generation of the club to have opportunities and, if I can play, then I can lead them,” he added.
“Even after I got poorly, once I was able to hobble around I assisted Jake (Richmond) last year.
“I started in the reserves before I went to Southampton and went on to have a good career. I just want the opportunity to give my knowledge back to people.
“I don’t think I have the passion and the drive to play for the first team and travel all the way around the country, I feel like I have done my time and I will get enough out of helping the youngsters develop and honing their skills.”
n The Terras were beaten 1-0 at home to Wessex League side Lymington Town on Saturday.