There are happy faces all around the Energy FC training ground this week. The team is unbeaten in their last five matches (3-0-2), they’ve scored a goal in 14 of their last 15 league games and they’re prepping for Round 2 of the Black Gold Derby this weekend against Tulsa.
The happiest face of all may belong to Wojciech Wojcik. Certainly he’s happy with the way the team has been playing, the way the team is scoring goals and getting ready to play Tulsa. What is the one they call “Woj” most excited about?
Getting back in the lineup.
Woj has been cleared to return to normal practice and is slated to be in the 18 this weekend as Energy FC makes its one and only regular season trip up the Turner Turnpike to take on the Roughnecks.
How does he feel about returning to the lineup?
“I’m really happy to be getting back and playing with the guys…I’ve missed that a lot,” said Woj. “I feel great! My feet feel good. The passing is good. I can run, I can shoot. It’s just getting that natural feeling back in the elbow with whatever we’re doing in the training sessions and games.”
Based on the original diagnosis of the injury that occurred on June 6, Woj was expected to be out up to 10 weeks…maybe more. His determination, hard work and competitiveness allowed him to keep himself in shape and be prepared for this moment.
“You can only do so much by yourself that you can just hop in and be fit. You can’t really replicate game situations by yourself, so the only thing I can really help that is by getting in and practicing. It’s great to be back on the field and I’m going to wait for my opportunity to come and take it and make the most of it.”
The injury put a focus on his fitness, but also on how important your arms are in the sport of soccer.
“You wouldn’t think you use your arm a lot in soccer, but you really do. The strength component is something I’ll need to keep working on the remainder of the year and years to come. I think the elbow could use some additional strengthening of the muscles around it. The flexibility and the mobility are good. I need to keep working on the strength component of it.”
Although Woj is excited to return to the lineup, he is focused on doing so at the proper speed.
“I’d rather play it safe and take my time getting back and not force stuff and potentially re-injure it. I’d rather be safe.”
Once he returns to the lineup, he becomes a different option up front for Energy FC joining the speed of Alex Dixon, the quickness of Miguel Gonzalez, the craftiness of Andy Craven and the big foot of Jose Angulo.
Energy FC take on Tulsa on August 12 at OneOK Field in Tulsa and return home August 19 to take on San Antonio FC. Kickoff for both matches is 7:30 p.m.