Comeback king Reuben Hazell marked the end of his near year-long wait to return to Shrewsbury first team action by declaring: “It’s what I live for.”
Hazell made his first appearance since September 28, 2011, on Saturday when he helped Town to a 1-1 draw at unbeaten Stevenage.
The 33-year-old spent much of last season battling back from a serious knee injury, while he has been forced to bide his time at the start of this campaign due to the impressive displays from Darren Jones and Michael Hector.
But a knee injury to Hector opened the door for the former Oldham captain at Stevenage.
“It felt like my debut all over again” said the 33-year-old. “But it was great to be back and this is what I live my life for, to play football on a Saturday afternoon.
“I’m glad we didn’t lose and I would have loved for us to have kept a clean sheet on my return.
“It wasn’t to be but my knee and body felt great and long may it continue.”
Hazell was pleased with his contribution having spent so long on the sidelines.
“I just wanted to do the right things, defend well in the first 20 minutes and work myself slowly into the game,” he added.
“It was great to play with the boys again. I feel as though I owe the club something after last year, even though getting injured wasn’t my fault. I want to show people what I can do.”
Shrewsbury were forced to settle for a point despite enjoying the better of the League One encounter.
But Hazell added: “If we continue to play that way, we will get the right results more often than not.
“We just have to take our chances. Maybe last season, we would have got another chance and gone on to win the game.
“But we will get fewer chances because we are playing against better teams.
“But there are a load of positives. Apart from a wonder strike for their goal and they hit the post from a corner, we had most of the chances and the play.”
* Town goalkeeper Callum Burton played the second half of England Under-17s’ 1-0 defeat to Portugal at Burton in the St Georges Park International tournament yesterday.