Brighton & Hove Albion defender Connor Goldson was delighted to return to action in last Friday’s friendly victory over Fortuna Dusseldorf, following his successful recovery from heart surgery.
Goldson played the second half of the 2-0 win at the Sportplatz Bischofshofen, and paid tribute to everyone connected with the club following his return.
He said, “I am very happy. It’s been a long time coming, after five or six months, but it’s all in the past now and we are moving forward. I am happy to play my first game of football and I really enjoyed it.
“When I first got the news I thought it would be a really tough time, but everyone made me feel such a part of the group still, while at every game I went to my song was sang by the fans.
“I did worry that I wouldn’t be so involved and it would be tough to take, but I was delighted to be a part of the promotion. It’s such a special club, a one city club, and you could see that with the celebrations and with the number of people who came out for the parade. It was a day any of the boys will ever forget.”
The 24-year-old singled out club doctor Stephen Lewis and the Albion players for their support during his absence, and how it gave him added motivation to come back.
“The staff have been unbelievable. I’d like to thank the doctor, as he was there from day one with me. He saw all the tough times and all the good times with me coming back and I thanked him again after that game [Dusseldorf].
“Obviously my team-mates are a special group; we all back each other and they picked me up when I first got the news. I wanted to come back in every day and be around them every day because I knew they could make me smile.”
Goldson is now looking forward to the battle for the central defensive berths in the team this season.
“There’s competition everywhere in the team. We’ve got good quality and I’m sure there will be more to come in. We’ve got a good side and that’s what you need in every single position.
“All we can do, each and every single one of us, is work as hard as we can and I’ll do the same. All you can do is work your hardest, and then see what happens.”