Loughborough and England star well on the way to recovery from his ankle injury.
By Matt Hardy
England star Jason Kilbride is recovering well from the ankle injury that kept him out of the trip to France and should be fit for March’s double header with Switzerland in Hereford.
Loughborough star Kilbride was injured in the January training camp at thePoint4 and after suffering a severely sprained ankle was forced to sit out of the two away games in Lorient.
Those games both ended in defeat for Kilbride’s team-mates, but England put in two encouraging performances and will be itching to get back in action against the Swiss.
Kilbride’s recovery is on schedule and the 23-year-old is hopeful of being fit to push his way back into Peter Sturgess’ plans.
“I was absolutely gutted when the injury occurred and knew straight away that I’d miss the France games” said Kilbride, who hopes to return to Loughborough action next Sunday against Birmingham Tigers.
“It was hard not being there and when it came to game time I was on my phone texting the physio for score updates.
“I’ve had ankle problems in the past but they’ve never been as painful as this.
“I’ve followed my rehabilitation plan and all being well I’ll be available for the next training camp.
“Whether I’ll be selected though is another thing because we have such a talented bunch of lads in and around the squad nowadays.”
Kilbride has had an eventful season so far. Moving clubs from Middlesbrough to Loughborough at the start of the campaign, Kilbride and his new club are pushing hard for a play-off berth in The FA National Futsal League Midlands division, despite a mid season stutter before Christmas which saw them lose ground on leaders Oxford Lions.
“We came out of the blocks flying this season but then hit a bit of a rough patch” he explained.
“We seem to have found our form again though and got back on track winning the last few games.
“We have a double header with Team Bath at the end of March and that will really make or break our play-off hopes.”
Kilbride is also still part of the Teesside University squad that have confirmed their place in the BUCS National Finals and has been a regular in Sturgess’ plans after a string of solid performances.
“I’m my own biggest critic and I always know that I have more to come. Hopefully I can be involved in the Swiss fixtures," he added.
“Those games give us a chance to get back to winning ways on home soil.
“Pete Sturgess will be looking for us to keep making steps in the right direction.
“We were very close to making the next stage of World Cup qualifiers and then narrowly lost to a good French team where we matched them for long periods.
“We are just short of a bit of luck sometimes but I don’t think we are too far away from a qualification. If we keep making the steady progress then we’re on the right track”.
Kilbride hopes his anticipated return to fitness will help fire Loughborough into the play-offs come May and should they get there, the East Midlands side will be looking to challenge for the title. That and two wins against Switzerland would round things off nicely and Kilbride believes the future is looking bright.
“Not only for me and Loughborough, but for English Futsal things are progressing nicely,” he said.
“Both the League and National set-up is coming along nicely.
“We have players playing in good competitive leagues week in week out now and that is only going to be good for the game.
“Already we are showing signs that we can mix it with some very good European sides Internationally and as I’ve said before with a bit of luck we could’ve found ourselves advancing in one of the competitions.”
The future in England is indeed looking promising and with players like Kilbride in the game we have the right characters to help spur Futsal on.