Barrett in groove after 'unhappy triad'
IT has taken him three years and not a single karate lesson, but Sporting Fingal's Shane Barrett has finally overcome the 'unhappy triad'.
At the beginning of the 2007 season, just minutes into Drogheda United's opening Setanta Cup clash, Barrett suffered a sportsman's worst nightmare -- his right knee crumbled beneath him, causing severe damage to the cruciate ligament, the medial ligament and the cartilage.
"The 'unhappy triad' is what they call it," sighed the Enfield man, "very unhappy." Barrett had been on top of his game for Paul Doolin's Boynesiders, but thereafter lay three years of hell, leading him to take numerous breaks from football to focus on his career as a business development executive at a mobile phone firm.
But this year, Barrett's career on the pitch has finally taken a positive twist after Liam Buckley placed his faith in the winger-cum-striker, signing him on a full-time contract for the FAI Cup holders and Premier League newcomers after a spell back at Drogheda last season.
"I'm 28, it would be nice if it was (a rebirth in his career). I'm just taking it day by day though. It would be nice to get back to the fitness level I was at before I got injured, but I suppose fate has a hand in that as well."
The former Wolverhampton Wanderers trainee has learned the hard way to be philosophical about football, but is now fully recovered and looking forward to a first full season in four years.
"I'm as good as I can be now. I'm not 100pc fit as regards match games. I'm only going to get that when I start playing.
"I haven't set targets in relation to goals and games. I suppose I find it works out best when I'm enjoying my football; not to put too much pressure on myself, just go out and enjoy playing."
And that he undoubtedly will.