Swansea City Under-21s Alex Bray
28th April 2016
Winger Alex Bray admits he's secured a personal victory this season despite the disappointment of Swansea City Under-21s' Division Two play-off exit against Aston Villa on Monday.
The 20-year-old overcame two severe knee ligament injuries in recent years to force his way back into the development squad's plans in January.
The winger's drive to recovery saw him feature ten times for the U21s since his return from injury, which earned him a one-year contract extension in March followed by his first goal against Arsenal in April.
And Bray believes his fight through the injury barriers have secured a huge victory for him on a personal level.
"It has been a big year for my career," he said. "This time last year I was still in hospital recovering from my knee injury. I did not know how my career was going to progress.
"In the last few months I have been part of our promotion push. I never could have imagined that when in rehab a year ago.
The Under-21s had a successful first season in category one football taking 12 wins to finish third in Premier League Division Two.
A seven game unbeaten run, including convincing wins over Blackburn, Newcastle and Arsenal in the last two months, helped the side finish in the play-offs.
"The season has gone really well, not just for me but for the team as a whole, but Monday was just not our day.
"It has been a successful season. Our target was to reach the play-offs and we are all proud of what we have achieved.
"We are gutted with the result because we feel we could have gone all the way and gained promotion. For now, though, we need to go away and reflect on the season.
"It has been a good test. We have proved we are good enough to be part of this category. We want to come back and improve this time next year."