Writer: Mike Field
Date:Wednesday September 16 2009
Wilfred Bouma has taken time out of his recovery regime to thank both club staff and fans alike for the support and well wishes he received whilst being out with his horrific injury.
Speaking on the official site Freddy was utterly delighted to be back on the training pitch again and running around with the lads. It's hard to believe actually he's been out injured for 14 months after the freak injury he sustained against Odense way back in last seasons Intertwobob Trophy.
After making a couple of comeback attempts at the tail end of last season, it was a case of problem after problem for the Fredster and he broke down each time and had to start a fresh.
There's no way the club have rushed, or allowed him to rush this time round and he is taking it easy in training but the signs are good so far and he already knows he has all of us wishing him well.
One of the reasons the Boum meister is thankful to his colleagues is because he never once felt left alone as many players at other clubs do.
'You hear stories about injured players at other clubs feeling very lonely and being left out of things but that's definitely not the case here.'
He explains because of the family feel at Bodymoor Heath that he continued to feel part of the squad and the wider Villa family, and although he may not have been playing a part on the pitch it still felt like he was playing a part in the club.
'I feel part of the squad here - I did during my time out too. That's the great thing about this club.
'It's great to be back out training with the boys, with all the banter on the training pitch.'
He also has special praise for the lifeblood of the club, describing us fans as tremendous both before and after the injury.
'Even when I didn't play well, they still backed me and supported me. It's great to think I'm a fan favourite. It means a lot.
'Wherever I go, I always get a Villa fan saying 'Freddy, how are you, how's the injury, when are you back?'
'That has helped me a lot through my bad times. They haven't forgotten me.'
Personally I doubt there's an insincere bone in Bouma's body. He's always given his all on the pitch, and in the days of massive wages and most players sadly paying only lip service to the fans who actually give them a career, it's nice to know that in however small a way we have helped make a difference to Freddy and help keep a smile on his face during what must have been an awful time for him.
Grounded players like Freddy will hate periods when they can't play as opposed to looking upon it as a time to live to the full, and enjoy their money.
It'll be good to have him back in contention and I don't doubt for a second that since returning to training he's been the happiest he's been in a long time.
Date:Wednesday September 16 2009
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