Nervous Brendan ecstatic to make pitch return

Perak TBG
After a harrowing time spent on the sidelines, Brendan Gan is adopting a cautious approach on his return to competitive football with new team, Perak.

20 odd minutes was all that Brendan got for Perak in the end but for a first taste of football since returning from a very bad injury, all signs still points very positively for the 29-year-old midfielder.

Since limping off of Malaysia's game against Indonesia, the nation has been deprived of the services of the combative Brendan for well over 12 months. So long has his absence been, Brendan himself treated the friendly against Felcra FC like his first foray into professional football.

"I was so nervous before. When I was going for warm-up, my heart rate was so high. I just didn't know what to expect. The ground wasn't the best for my first game but we put in a good performance. This team is a family and that's what I love about Perak at the moment. The boys work together and have been very welcoming to me."

"Everything has to be very slow. I've only been in pre-season one month now. Start taking 20 minutes, 30 minutes and build up for the season. I'm not expecting anything beyond the first game of the season now. If I can play that, it will be very exciting. If not, I'm very happy to help the boys. It's a very young squad and I have the experience to help them," said Brendan after the match.

Mehmet Durakovic made numerous changes throughout the second half to the friendly match as he eases his players back into action and the loudest roar was reserved for Brendan's introduction. It sent a chill to Brendan's spine but equally one which provided a warm welcomed for him.

"Of course it was a great feeling. That's the best feeling you can have as a player. To be welcomed into the club that you're going to put your heart and soul into, 110% in every single game and training. Thank you Perak for welcoming me and hopefully they will come out and support us throughout the season," he added.

Having suffered two major injuries to his knees, one on each leg; it takes a lot of courage and motivation for any player to come back into competitive football and the journey had been arduous for Brenda as well.

Working his way back to fitness, most of which at his own expense, it will be hard to find a more dedicated player in the league this season. And it's not just the physical side of things, Brendan also did not want to overlook the mental side of the rehabilitation process.

"It's been tough. Having my injury in the national team just when I feel like I was starting to play my best football and to have an unfortunate injury, it's disappointing. I haven't had any injuries, only two big ones. To have no help throughout my rehab process, I had to go home and do it all by myself. It was very emotional to be back on the field."

"Of course there's always a fear. But in football, injuries happen. I worked with a mental coach and I'm still working through it. As soon as I get out there, everything releases from my mind and that's what I'm aiming for," he explained.

Judging from the crowd's reaction, expectations are high on Brendan becoming a crucial member of the Perak team who are aiming to claim at least one trophy in the new 2018 season. But patience is the key word here as the most important thing is to ensure that Brendan's reintroduction is done in the right manner.