Having spent most of 2018 watching from the sideline, Hugh Douglas is eagerly looking forward to watching from the pitch as his youthful team-mates make positive strides in their progression in 2019. At 25, Douglas is yet to hit his peak himself but
Having spent most of 2018 watching from the sideline, Hugh Douglas is eagerly looking forward to watching from the pitch as his youthful team-mates make positive strides in their progression in 2019.
At 25, Douglas is yet to hit his peak himself but he has a wealth of experience and is a natural leader. A horrific ACL injury saw him endure a dark time last term but he is now back to fitness and has fought his way back into the team and he knows that - despite a blip that saw the Seagulls lose four of five league games - no medals are handed out in April.
"We've started the second round of games with a point so we'll take the positives and build on it from here.
"I've said to the boys; we're only five points off Cabinteely who are top and we've only just started the second round of games - it's a long, long season ahead.
"We just have to take it one game at a time and make sure that we're in the hunt. I think we're still in the hunt and we've a chance of going up but we just worry about what goes on in our dressing room and taking it one game at a time. The guys have been brilliant and have worked so hard; we're a young squad and we're still learning the ropes. We'll start to come good in the second half of the season."
Douglas will turn 26 in June but is happy to pass on his experiences to the even younger guns.
"Any young lad that comes into the club, I'll always try my best to talk to them and encourage them and if there's any advice I can feel I can give them; I will. The young squad have learned straight from the off and have taken their chances when they came. We'll keep building and improving."
Douglas had to wait until March 4th to make his comeback against Wexford FC in the EA Sports Cup but has now featured in the last four fixtures; starting three of those. Physically, the defender is 100% and he says he is also 100% there mentally and his knee is never on his mind when he is out on the battlefield.
"It's just great to be back. That was my main goal to get back playing normally with no problems and - touch wood - nothing will change now and I'll be back like this for the rest of my career. I'm happy to be back first of all and then to get back in the team is another bonus on top of that.
"If you had that in your head; you'd be in the wrong sport. You can't have that in your head. I think in the first few weeks of training I knew I was back to normal and the doubts in my head were gone so then it was just about sharpness and playing games."