Ahead of the England u19s match against Germany on Friday, Tafari Moore has spoken about his comeback from injury.
The 18-year-old was sidelined for months with an injury he thought had healed but hadn’t. The frustration felt by such a young player getting told they can play again, only to have it snatched away must have been soul destroying.
“It was a bad time – actually it was the worst,” Moore said.
“Altogether I was out for seven months. Firstly I was out for three after tearing a ligament in my hip, but then in the last week just before I was about to come back I found out it had gotten worse so I was out for another three.
“I was in a dark place at that time, but I had to get through it. I had the right people around me and the coaches at my club kept encouraging me. Now I’m here today.”
The defender has an incredibly mature outlook and believes the time he spent injured allowed him to focus on what he wanted.
Moore continued, “Being out and seeing the boys go off to England and seeing some of the players make their debuts for the first team, that was something that allowed me to focus and make sure I was doing the right things to come back and start the season on fire.
“That’s what I did and I think I’ve been doing well at my club and that’s led to me being back in the squad, so I couldn’t be happier.”
However, it did make his call up even sweeter.
“I was sat in the changing room at Arsenal,” he explained. “We were all just talking and my physio came in and said, ‘Taf, you’ve been picked for the U19s?’ I was just sat there like ‘What?’
“I started screaming and ran to Chrissy Willock and Kaylen Hinds jumping all over them and shouting ‘I’m in the squad, I’m in the squad’.
“I was over the moon!”
Due to his injury, Moore only managed to feature 11 times for the Arsenal u21s last season. However, this season he’s played in all three competitive matches so far.
It shows huge character to overcome such a serious injury and subsequent set back, especially so early on in his footballing career.
Hopefully he can now go on, make his debut for the England u19s and be everything he wants to be.
Moore added, “I want to show all the lads as well as the coaches what I can do.
“They haven’t seen me play in a long time. I want to try and bring something different to the team.
“I’ll be trying my hardest to impress.”