Kieran's keen to show Scarborough Athletic supporters what he can do after injury horror
It’s fair to say things have been a little strange over the past year or so and Scarborough Athletic’s Kieran Weledji will certainly agree.
Pacy defender Weledji was full of optimism after making the move to Boro from East Coast rivals Whitby Town in May 2020.
“There was interest from other clubs and Whitby wanted me to stay there, but this just seemed the right time to make the move and Scarborough was the perfect fit,” Weledji told The Scarborough News last summer after his move.
Boss Darren Kelly also made no attempt to play down his new signing, adding: “The addition of Kieran is a real statement of intent for us.”
Fast forward to August and things took a drastic turn when Weledji suffered a ruptured achilles tendon in his long-awaited debut in a pre-season clash at Garforth, a blow to both himself and Kelly, who had pinned a lot of his defensive plans around the former Middlesbrough man.
An injury blow that Weledji, a physiotherapist at Scarborough Hospital, admits he’s only just starting to come to terms with now.
“I knew what it was straight after it happened, as soon as I heard the pop,” said Weledji.
“I was devastated, it’s only recently that I have mentally been able to come to terms with it.
“I think I have been quite lucky that I haven’t missed many games and it looks like I won’t end up missing many games as the season could be declared null and void.”
Weledji’s recovery is coming along nicely, and one of the positives of there being no sign of a return to NPL action any time soon for Kelly’s side, is that he can take his time and come back to action fresh and ready to go.
“Usually with injuries like this you write off the season and if you come back any earlier it’s a bonus,” added Weledji.
“I’m probably looking at that now, mainly because there’s nothing to really aim at with games not being on.
“Potentially the plan was to come back a little bit earlier, but there’s no reason to rush it now.
“I was lucky to get in for surgery quickly and things are progressing nicely.”
It seems strange to be discussing the future of a player who has only played 20 minutes of a pre-season friendly since joining the club, but such is the bizarre situation NPL clubs find themselves in, this will be common place in coming weeks and months.
However, Weledji admitted he has spoken to boss Kelly about staying with Boro and has no plans to move on.
“For me personally, I have no reason to want to leave,” added Weledji.
“I have spoken to Darren and he’s made his intentions clear.
“I haven’t had the opportunity to show what I can do at Scarborough yet and I’m keen to do that.
“But at the moment I am just focussing on my recovery and making sure I come back in the best possible shape.”
One thing Weledji is keen to do is impress the club’s supporters when he does run out at the Flamingo Land Stadium in a Boro shirt.
“It’s one of the reasons I joined the club, the fact that they get great support and have 1,000 or 2,000 fans at games,” he added.
“Getting injured and not having the opportunity to play in front of the fans is frustrating, it’s something that kicks me on during my recovery, to come back with a bang.”
ATHLETIC BOSS LINKED WITH INTERNATIONAL JOB / https://www.thescarboroughnews.co.uk/sport/football/scarborough-athletic-boss-darren-kelly-linked-vacant-international-role-3107023