Alan Judge said he was looking forward to pre-season training next month and not having to play catch-up any more. The Republic of Ireland international returned to Sky Bet Championship action early in 2018 after almost two years out of the game with a badly broken leg. He made 14 appearances in all competitions after his return and started three games. Alan completed 90 minutes against Hull City on the final day of the season, the first time he had done so for the First Team for more than 750 days.
Alan, speaking after the Hull game at the Club’s Player of the Year Awards Dinner, said he felt “like a little kid” after completing 90 minutes and wished there were more games to come. He had played in Brentford’s 1-0 wins over Bristol City and Ipswich Town at the start of April but then picked up an injury and returned against Hull. Alan said he hoped to be involved in international matches for Ireland over the coming weeks but was focussed on pre-season and Brentford fans would see him at his best.
“I won’t be playing catch up,” said Alan. “You see players coming back after months out and trying to catch up, I was out for two years. I will really be able to see where I am. I hope the fans saw a bit of me today being close to my best. Sometimes in training you feel close to your best and then the next day it doesn’t happen. I want people to see me as me again. The injury has gone and I will be where I was before.
“It was very tiring but great against Hull. I felt like a little kid running around the pitch and felt the best I have felt for a while, I felt good against Bristol and Ipswich then got an injury. It felt great today and I wish there was more now.
“We had one of our best performances against Bristol and I felt I played really well. Then the Ipswich game was probably too close after two years out. It was one of those things. I was fighting to get back and got back this week.
“I feel so much stronger and fitter than I did 12 months ago. I owe everything to the medical team. It was another milestone today and it puts me in good stead to have a good pre-season. I feel I will be back to my old self after the summer. Hopefully my season will continue with the Ireland games, I will then have a break and come back for pre-season.”
Brentford finished the 2018/19 Sky Bet Championship season in ninth place. The Bees were six points outside the Play-Off places and Alan said he felt they were not far away. He said he hoped the squad would stay together and have another push for the top six in 2018/19.
“We just need to be a bit smarter,” said Alan. “This team is not far away. We create a lot of chances and we need to put them away. This season will help prepare for next year. I am hoping the majority of the team will stick around and we can go again.”