Wright to play in benefit game

DANIEL Wright will pull on a Wolves shirt one more time this Saturday as he hopes to take to the field during his benefit game against Glenavon at Mourneview Park (kick-off 3pm).

The 18-year-old was forced to call time on his full-time career after making his first team debut for Wolves last summer when an ECG scan revealed a heart defect that could have been fatal had he continued to play.

Wright of course played for Glenavon’s Youth Academy before moving to England and his two former teams have come together to play a benefit match for him this Saturday.

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And after playing half a match for Dollingstown against Glenavon last week, the goalkeeper is hoping to again take to the field for Wolves this weekend. He is now able to make a comeback of some form due to a defibrillator which has been fitted in his chest but does this mean that Wright could even form a football career at a part-time level in Northern Ireland?

“At the minute it’s all still up in the air and it will be a while before I’ll know but for now it’s not looking like I could play a full season,” he told the ‘MAIL.’

“Playing last Saturday was just basically to see how long I could last. Dollingstown were struggling for a keeper and it was just a chance to test myself but it went OK.

“I would love to come back and play if anything happens in the future. It’s all in God’s hands and I don’t have any control over it so we’ll see how things go.

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“The defibrillator allows me to do a bit more than I could but not quite to the level that I can actually play football properly again. It allows me to do my weights and go running and basically get back to some level of fitness.

“There’s not really any big risk of me getting hurt if I do play now though. The only thing that can happen is that the defibrillator goes off and that just shocks my heart to get it back into a normal rhythm. Once it goes off it means that I can’t drive for six months so it has other lifestyle factors as well and affects some of what I can do outside of sport. Also if it has to work constantly then it can damage my heart so I don’t want it to have to work overtime.”

For now then Wright will only be able to manage a brief spell in nets this Saturday and it is sure to be an emotional moment when he lines up alongside his former Wolves team-mates at Mourneview Park, but one that the Lurgan lad is eagerly awaiting.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.

“It’s been a while since I’ve seen a lot of the guys from Wolves. Obviously I got quite friendly with a lot of them so it will be good to see them again. Hopefully I’ll play at least 15 minutes with the lads again and I’m really, really looking forward to it.

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“Glenavon and Wolves have both been absolutely brilliant in setting the game up. The Wolves first team go away on tour on the 16th so they’ll not be there but it will be the reserve guys and more senior players who aren’t going on tour.”

However, even if Saturday sees Wright taking to the field in a Wolves shirt for the last time, his involvement with the club is far from over as he is currently pursuing a coaching career whilst also taking time out to be an intern in his church:

“I’ve finished a course at Lurgan tech and have been accepted into a course in Jordanstown for one night a week. I’ll be starting my coaching badges with Wolves and then also taking a year out to do internship in my church, Lurgan Elim so I’m really looking forward to all of that.

“My course at Jordanstown will get me a foundation degree in sports coaching so that’s what I want to do although it can be hard. When you’re coaching, you can feel that you just want to be playing but I want to go down that route anyway.”

Admission fees for Saturday’s game will be 5 for adults and 3 concession.