NO-ONE at Fleetwood Town is looking forward to a happy new year more than Anthony Barry.
After an agonising 2012 in which he hadn’t struck a football in anger until this week, the Town midfielder is well and truly on the comeback trail at last.
The 26-year-old, who has been sidelined by a knee injury since August last year, finally returned to full training this week and couldn’t be happier with how it has gone.
Barry said: “I joined in with the lads on Monday. It was always the plan that if I came through three weeks of running I could join in full training. It’s finally fallen into place and coincided with the new gaffer coming in.
“I’m still taking it day by day. I’m going to bed nervous every night but each morning so far I’ve woken up OK. Fingers crossed it will carry on going great.”
The Liverpudlian had sounded dejected and despondent when he spoke to The Gazette in October, but now his spirits are soaring.
He added: “The first sessions have gone great. I was tentative at first and on the back foot, but after about 20 minutes it started to flow.
“Physically I’m feeling fit after all the running I’ve done, so I’ve got a great base to build on.
“Now I want to press on and help get the team up the league in the second half of season.
“It’s still very early days but at least I’ve started training, and after so many ups and downs I’ve hopefully turned the corner and now.”
Barry has long since finished setting comeback targets, though he remains as determined as ever.
He said: “I don’t think anyone knows how it is going to pan out from here. I don’t think it will be straightforward because none of it has been.
“But it’s a case of coming in every day, hoping it will be all right, working hard and hopefully getting that bit of luck because I really want to help drive this team on.
“Sometimes people can come back physically but not mentally from knocks like this, but I still think I’ve got a massive future in the game, and I’m just looking forward to getting back and showing what I can do.”