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Tough times for Shwan

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Shwan Jalal is currently living through every footballer's dread after a training ground mishap resulted in him requiring cruciate ligament surgery.

Having fought back to fitness following a thigh injury, the 20-year-old goalkeeper suffered the huge setback a month ago and is now back at the training ground taking the first torturous steps in his rehabilitation programme.

"I had an operation on my cruciate after rupturing my anterior ligament - the same injury as Gazza had in the Cup final," sighed Shwan. "It's been a horrible last month for me, I was only just coming back from a thigh injury.

"It is character building, you see it happen to other people and don't think it will ever happen to you. It's just one of those things, the coaches here say I'm having one of those years and that all that can go wrong will at once and I'll be over it - that's what I'm hoping."

Shwan, who enjoyed a lengthy and successful loan spell at Conference side Woking last term - where he was shortlisted for the Player of the Season award - and was hoping to push on during this campaign towards a first team squad place.

"Everything went well for me at Woking before I picked up a silly injury. I was out for three months, put on a bit of weight and then I was trying to get my fitness back. I worked hard during the summer, came back and started doing some fitness work with Kunle and I started feeling a lot fitter.

"I honestly believe I would have been challenging for a place on the bench with Rob and Lars by now if it wasn't for this.

"I was out with the reserves playing keep ball and went to close somebody down. I twisted awkwardly, the ground was soft and I left my foot there. I wasn't even goalkeeping!

"I felt it a bit, went in to see Chic the physio and didn't feel too bad at the time. I came in the next morning and had no movement.

"I had an operation to see what was going on and found I had a ruptured cruciate. It was my first surgery and the club really looked after me - the Doc was unbelievable with me."

The recruit from Hastings Town was given a fortnight off to recover from the surgery, but he is now desperately missing his football fix.

"I've spoken to David Pleat and Chris Hughton who have been very supportive - as has everybody at the club.

"I was given two week's off and enjoyed my mum's cooking - but I want to be out there playing football."

A full version of this interview can be accessed through THTV - our online video service