Knights goalkeeper Chris May is under no illusions when it comes to what season 2015 will require, as the shot-stopper returns to competitive football after a six-month suspension picked up in the inaugural FFA Cup.
The 29-year-old will be available for selection prior to the first game of the 2015 NPL Victoria season against Avondale FC on February 20th, after a lengthy ban following an altercation with referee Alex King at the conclusion of the Club’s FFA Cup match with Olympic FC.
With the first choice custodian banished to the sidelines, reserve team goalkeeper Michael O’Farrell produced a number of brilliant performances which helped Andrew Marth’s men cap off a solid back end to the NPL season and raise the 2014 Dockerty Cup.
“I’m not expecting to walk right back into the side,” May said.
“Michael [O’Farrell] came in and had a fantastic few games, so I’m just going to get my head down pre-season and work as hard as I know I can and fight for that place back and put my performances back to the level that I know I can.
“I definitely feel the fittest that I have been for the last few years now. I’m pretty over the ankle injury and last year I was still struggling with it. I’ve strengthened that up and I’m ready to go.
“I think if I get back in ahead of young Michael, I’ll be raring to go and I think I’ll be within that top half of the goalkeepers in the league if I’m firing on all cylinders. So I’m looking forward to it.”
Speaking for the first time publicly since the suspension which made national football headlines, the former Brighton & Hove Albion and Heidelberg United player sheepishly acknowledged the wrong in his ways and expressed his disappointment when asked what his goals and ambitions would be for the upcoming campaign:
“Well not to get sent off for being an idiot for starters!
“I just want to put last season right from my point of view. I was disappointed to miss out on the cup final and last few games of the season and that was the first minutes of football I’ve missed in probably six or seven years, so that was disappointing.”
With May – and his ankles woes – joining a list of players recovering from long-standing injuries, the Englishman is confident that the Knights can have a successful season in 2015.
“I’m obviously really looking forward to it given how the season panned out last year with obviously the well documented injuries and suspensions,” May said.
“I’m looking forward to getting back out there and really showing what we can do. Obviously we won the cup and ended up pretty high up the table with a pretty good squad and it’s going to be really interesting to see how we do with a full strength squad this year – I think we’ll be up there challenging.”
Melbourne Knights kick off their 2015 NPL Victoria campaign on Friday, February 20th at Knights Stadium.