Sam Gallaway returned to full training for the first time on Monday since a knee injury ended his 2012/13 A-League season.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets defender Sam Gallaway returned to full training for the first time on Monday since a knee injury prematurely ended his 2012/13 A-League season.
The 21-year-old was among a small group of Jets A-League squad members who began the first phase of the Club-s pre-season training schedule on Monday.
For Gallaway, it was the first opportunity to be involved in full-contact training since he sustained a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee during the Jets- Round 26 clash with Wellington Phoenix in late February.
After completing the session pain-free, Gallaway said his focus was on building his fitness back up ahead of the Jets- trip to Singapore to take part in the Soccer Sixes tournament in a fortnight-s time.
“The injury feels good. It was my first day back properly with the team doing tackling and everything,” Gallaway said.
“It felt fine, no pain anywhere. I-ve just got to get that confidence back, but that will come in time.
“Hopefully I-ll be in the squad for (Singapore) and it-ll be good to be back playing, getting my fitness back and being around the boys again.”
Gallaway shone after breaking into the Jets- starting XI midway through the 2012/13 season and said he was determined to rediscover that career-best form.
“Having the coach-s backing and to know every week that chances are you-re going to start, you get a lot of confidence from that,” Gallaway said.
“Hopefully I can get back to where I was. It just depends on pre-season and how my knee pulls up. “
Despite having cemented his spot as a starting fullback for the Jets prior to his injury, Gallaway said he wouldn-t be taking anything for granted in the build-up to the 2013/14 season.
“I-ve got to work my may back into the team and keep my spot, but you-ve got to have a good pre-season first to be able to do that, so we-ll see what happens.
“Last year I came into the side halfway through the year and then I picked up the knee injury at the end, so I-d like to get a full, solid season under my belt this year.”
“Even though I played well last year, I don-t assume I-m going to be the left back for the team,” Gallaway said.
Despite the season-proper not starting until October, Gallaway said the Jets were already determined to ensure they did not miss out on a spot in the A-League finals for the fourth consecutive year.
“It-s going to be a big season for us and obviously we-ve got a lot to prove,” Gallaway said.
“Every year we-ve been saying finals is our goal and we haven-t done that for a few years.
“It-s going to be goal again this season, but we actually have to make it this season. In a way it-s do-or-die.”