After spending over a year on the sideline with a serious knee injury, FC Malaga City Under 18s forward Kyle Gomes described his comeback as “emotional”.
The Canadian, who previously played in Europe at academy level, made his return from an ACL injury in the game against Portada Alta in November.
Having previously been with a professional side in Major League Soccer, Gomes made the move across to the south of Spain with ease and described the feeling he had when he stepped back onto the pitch after being out for such a long time.
“It was quite an emotional moment for myself,” Gomes said.
“It was well over 14 months of multiple hours per day doing physiotherapy. There were tough times that I went through both mentally and physically through the pain.
“It was quite a tough time, especially leaving a professional environment and struggling with the injury, but coming back made it all worth it and it was quite an emotional game for me.
“I had my teammates behind me, my coaches supporting me and I had my family supporting me. I know, for sure, that it was a good moment, but I know there’s something big coming in the next year or two.”
He continued: “These next six months will be challenging. I want to get myself in the best possible way with fitness.
"It’s tough with COVID-19 and the scheduling of games, but it’s just another challenge and another page in the book that I’ve overcome.
“I’ve no doubt that after these next six months that I can go on trial with teams, go on trials while I’m here too, and then find my next professional club to make my biggest move yet.”
Gomes represented Aston Villa in England - a memorable hat-trick against Arsenal being one of the stand-out moments - and then went on to play in Portugal and back home in Canada at an elite level.
The 19-year-old, who represented Canada for two years at youth level, arrived in Spain aiming to get over his injury, get back to full fitness and then hit the ground running and believes the first half of the season went the way he expected.
The forward said: “It’s been quite good so far. I was coming from a professional environment with the Vancouver Whitecaps and it was something that come to an end due to injury unfortunately.
“My time here with #FCMC has been good. I’ve returned from injury, I’ve made my first competitive start and it’s been exactly what I expected.
“Coming to Spain was a new pathway for me. I had played previously in Portugal and in England. England was quite a physical league and I found that the Spanish way of playing and style suited me quite well. It was an opportunity that I wanted to take.”
Prior to the 2020-21 season, Gomes had spent the previous three with the Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS. The striker holds that experience as one of his favourite and also spoke about one of his roommates that went on to win the Champions League last season.
“The level there was amazing,” Gomes said. “I spent three years with Vancouver and it was time that I really enjoyed.
“I had quite a few friends that went on to play pro. Alphonso Davies was one of my roommates at the time and he’s gone on to do amazing things.
“I made great friends there, the level was really high and it was part of my career so far that I really enjoyed.”