Any thoughts that Seamus Coleman might be apprehensive about sliding in for a challenge, held back by thoughts of last March, were dispelled 20 minutes into his return to action on Tuesday night when the Donegal man put in what Phil Jagielka termed a 'crunching tackle'.
Coleman started Everton U23s' 3-0 win against Portsmouth, playing 58 minutes. It was his first game since the March World Cup qualifier against Wales when he leg was broken by a tackle from Neil Taylor.
"That was more for me than it was the young lad! I just told him that at the time as well and he was fine with it," Coleman said about last night's tackle.
“I knew tackles and things like that were never going to be a bother. That one was more for the few fans that were here [to show] that there are no psychological effects."
I enjoyed the game. It was great for it to be here at Goodison Park – it made it that little bit more special. They tried to change the game when I could be involved and thankfully they have been able to do it.
To be able to walk out the tunnel and see the stadium was great. I managed to get some minutes under my belt and that was fantastic. I treated it like a first-team game and gave it everything.
I’ve been looking forward to that moment for the last few months – just being able to get the kit on, doing up the shin-pads, rolling my socks up and walking out there. It was great to be able to feel like a footballer again – it’s a fantastic feeling.
Coleman has been back in first team training for a few weeks. Though, he is eager to return to the Premier League fray, Sam Allardyce has said he will be cautious.
"It’s just a case of going game by game now," Coleman told Everton's club website.
"For now, it’s get back into training and try to impress the manager by working hard and fingers crossed, it wont be long before I am back out there.
"Training has been going great so far. I have enjoyed every second and I am just thankful to be back out there.