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Ebbsfleet United defender Alex Finney speaks about his injury nightmare

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Alex Finney has thanked Ebbsfleet for taking a chance on him after his injury nightmare.

Fleet followed through on their interest in the former QPR and Maidstone defender despite a troubled 2020/21 campaign at Aldershot.

Alex Finney in action as Ebbsfleet United take on Hampton & Richmond at Stonebridge Road Picture: Chris Davey
Alex Finney in action as Ebbsfleet United take on Hampton & Richmond at Stonebridge Road Picture: Chris Davey

A recurring hamstring injury, which ultimately required surgery, sidelined the 25-year-old who then pulled his quad tendon during rehab.

It left him feeling down on his luck and questioning the future but Ebbsfleet stepped in and, after seven months, he’s back on the pitch and appreciating football more than ever.

“It was such a long time to be out,” said Finney.

“I wouldn’t say I was in a dark place, because I had a lot of people around me, but sometimes you think is it all worth it, because you’re so far away from where you need to be, back on the pitch, enjoying football and training.

“You’re thinking I don’t know if I’m ever going to get there. Is it ever going to happen again?

“Then the opportunity came up to come down here and they did the last bit of my rehab and that’s seen me through and lifted my spirits.

“It was hard and I can understand why some people struggle on the injury front.

“I’ve got friends who are constantly injured and I don’t know how they do it.

“Ebbsfleet gave me an incentive, they said you can get fit down here, we’ll sort it out once you’re fit, show us you’re the right person for us, and I completely understand that because they were taking a risk on me.

“Hopefully the risk is paying off and will pay off in the future.”

Finney’s character and commitment to get fit impressed manager Dennis Kutrieb and the centre-half finally made his debut in the FA Cup win at Aylesbury at the start of October.

Alex Finney is over his injury nightmare Picture: Chris Davey
Alex Finney is over his injury nightmare Picture: Chris Davey

He looked the part again when Fleet beat Hampton in the final qualifying round last weekend to set up a trip to Leyton Orient in the first round.

“They put their neck out for me in terms of bringing me down,” said Finney.

“They don’t normally bring people down to do rehab, they’ve got a good squad so they don’t need to bring people in just to be in and around it.

“They’re full-time and it was if you can get back to fitness and work hard and show us you’re everything people say you are, then we’d like to sign you, but I had to take that leap of faith as well and say I’m going to get my head down, graft and work with them.

“The majority of the time we’re in six times a week, so it has been hard graft, but now I’m at the end of it and starting to get back to where I need to be, I’m grateful for the opportunity.

“The manager knows I’m not back to full fitness yet because I haven’t had the pre-season but he’s been patient and I can only thank him for it.

“I appreciate football more now, 100 per cent. I can’t shut up.

“When I was injured all I could do was watch football.

“I wouldn’t say it was the only release but in terms of being close to the game, I was just watching loads of football.

“Even though I have been injured a fair bit, you kind of take for granted being in a changing room and being with the boys.

“It’s a completely different world, it’s not a normal job and I’m grateful for the opportunity they gave me here.”

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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