First Goal Perfect Tonic For Jack

Jack Iredale goal celebration

Jack Iredale admitted his first goal in a Wanderers’ shirt had been a big moment as he made a winning comeback with the Whites, writes Pete Oliver.

Iredale missed the second half of last season after undergoing knee surgery to clear up an injury he sustained in January.

The defender’s father was also under-going cancer treatment in Australia to add to Iredale’s concerns.

His dad has, thankfully, come through a ‘rocky patch’ and Iredale was able to phone his parents Down Under late on Saturday night to talk through his opening goal in Wanderers’ 3-0 win over Lincoln City on the first day of the campaign.

To get that goal is a bit of a weight off the shoulders.
Jack Iredale

“It’s been a long time coming. I had quite a tough year last year on the pitch and personally,” said Iredale, whose early headed effort gave Wanderers the perfect start.

“To get that goal is a bit of a weight off the shoulders. I’m really happy it’s come so soon in the season and I’m really excited for the rest of the season.

“I had a mixed season last season. I played a lot of games at wing-back and was still trying to learn the position and then just as I thought I started to find my feet the injury came.

“At the same time, as not a lot of people know, dad was going through chemotherapy back home. It was a really tough season, personally, for me but I can’t thank the gaffer and the club enough for the way he treated me and helped me through it.

“After I had my knee surgery he let me go home to see my family and be with my mum and dad for a bit, so that just gave me that mental re-set ready to come back in and get super-strong, super-fit and have a really good off season and come in fit and firing.

Jack Iredale celebration

“It’s unfortunate what happened to George as well, but it’s given me an opportunity to make that position my own and that’s something I’m determined to do.”

Wanderers will be without George Johnston for the duration of the 2023/24 campaign after he also underwent knee surgery after being injured in pre-season.

However, boss Ian Evatt still has strength in depth in a defensive department, which started the season with a clean sheet to make Saturday almost the ideal day as the Whites eased to victory to put their first three points on the board.

“We know we can get better,” added Iredale – a summer signing from Cambridge United a year ago who slotted smoothly back into the left-sided central defensive role on his return to action.

“The gaffer is demanding high standards and we demand high standards of ourselves.

“But I think 3-0 to start off the season is really positive and it gives us a really good platform.”

Watch the full post-match interview with Jack on Wanderers TV. Sign up HERE

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