Garvan in rude health

OWEN Garvan today looked back on the long-term illness that saw him miss the first four months of this season.And he admitted that that dark cloud did have a silver lining.

By Elvin King

OWEN Garvan today looked back on the long-term illness that saw him miss the first four months of this season.

And he admitted that that dark cloud did have a silver lining.

“It made me appreciate how much football means to me,” said the Dublin-raised youngster who is approaching his 50th first team appearance and was back in the first team from the start at Stoke last night.

“I was like the new kid on the block after making my debut at the start of last season.

“And for the first year it all washed over my head a bit.

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“But now I realise how much I enjoy playing football - and being in the first team.

“I was not happy at being left out of the starting line-up against Swansea City in the FA Cup last Saturday after recovering from injury. However, I appreciate that the manager has do what he thinks fit. It is up to me to prove I deserve a place in the side when I am on the field.”

Garvan, who suffered a bout of shingles in the summer and was then diagnosed with post-viral fatigue syndrome, celebrated his 19th birthday on Monday. And he admits that it has made him think.

“My 17th year was a happy one, and most things went my way,” he said. “But my 18th year was a disappointment to me.

“Now I must kick on and ensure that things improve for me in my 19th year. I must erase last year and wish for a healthy and more successful time.”

Garvan is rubbing at his hands in anticipation about what could lie ahead with Ipswich still after a Championship play-off place and also a winnable FA Cup fifth round match at Watford.

“To be honest, gaining a play-off place is a big ask,” he said. “But we will keep going until it is impossible to reach our goal.

“We were all glued to the cup draw on Monday before training and then setting off for Stoke.

“The FA Cup is great for our fans and the longer we can keep the run going the better.”

Fabian Wilnis added: “It all went well again last night with everybody playing their part.”

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