Former Bradford City defender prepares for Champions’ League bow (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Simon Ramsden over his Bradford City injury hell ahead of fresh Motherwell test
Simon Ramsden will make his Motherwell debut in the Champions’ League next week – a year after fearing his career might be doomed.
Ramsden could not have wished for a grander occasion to start than Tuesday’s third-round qualifier against Panathinaikos.
The former City defender, who rejected an offer to stay, admits it will be a “surreal” occasion – and a complete contrast to the injury despair he suffered at Valley Parade.
Ramsden said: “The start of last season after the year I’d had was the lowest point of my career. I did often wonder if I was ever going to come back.
“But thankfully I did manage it. I’m feeling strong and really excited about a new start.
“To go from League Two football to making my debut in the Champions’ League is amazing. It was one of the big attractions to come up here and it’s obviously great to link up with the gaffer (Stuart McCall) again.
“He knows me well and I’d say that I probably played my best football at Bradford under Stuart.”
Injuries dominated Ramsden’s three years with City, particularly during the 2010-11 campaign when he featured only three times. That frustration will always rankle.
He said: “It’s a shame my time at Bradford is only going to be thought of for that reason. Of course I’m annoyed because when you look back there were a few issues when I was out for so long.
“Maybe I did rush back too soon a couple of times but that’s because I was so desperate to play.”
Ramsden felt the lowest point was after the operation that should have cleared his long-standing hip problem.
“The surgeon said I’d be out three months but something didn’t feel right for that whole season,” he said.
“I came back feeling half the player I was beforehand. I wanted to show people so badly what I could do but it was just one thing after another.
“Then I went to Lilleshall after Phil Parkinson came in and it all got sorted. I’d been out for over a year and within a week they had got to the bottom of it.”
Ramsden had been with Motherwell for three weeks before he signed for one year, the financial repercussions from Rangers’ implosion leaving Scottish clubs nervous on doing deals.
He said: “People are being careful. The size of their fanbase makes up quite a lot of profit for every club for the season through ticket sales.
“There were rumours of the TV money being pulled, so there is a lot of concern at the moment.”