Football Gibraltar caught up with Gibraltar international, and Real Oviedo B striker Tjay De Barr, to catch up on his recovery from an injury sustained playing for Gib last year, life in Oviedo and more.
Photo © Real Oviedo
De Barr suffered a cruciate ligament injury playing for Gibraltar against Switzerland back in November, so we asked how his recovery was going: “The recovery is going well, with a few minor setbacks, however it’s normal. At first, when I thought it was only a meniscus tear it turned out to be a little bit more, involving the cruciate ligaments. That’s why the recovery has taken longer than I was expecting. I’ve basically been in the gym since the injury happened, just a few days ago I did my first ball work session and it felt really good to just put some boots on again, something I have missed a lot.”
For 99% of footballers, setbacks are part and parcel of the game, so has the 19-year-old attacker used any specific methods to deal with this injury setback? “Obviously like you say it’s part of the game, I’d say I’ve been quite unlucky with injuries. Back in Lincoln I had problems with my ankles, halfway through the season with Europa I had problems with my hamstring and now it’s my knee. Dealing with this setback isn’t any different to any other injury I’ve had, it’s making sure that you come back fully fit and ready to play, which is better than rushing to get back as early as possible and suffering from another injury.
When you’re injured and not playing, watching from aside you then notice how much football means and how much you miss it, I would say that’s what keeps me going.”
De Barr moved from Gibraltar to Oviedo, in the north of Spain, after completing his European commitments with Europa last summer – what is it like living in the city? “Living here away from home has been good for now, I do feel comfortable around the people I am so that’s good. I also do believe that it can just get better from here, I’ve managed to remain happy whilst I haven’t been playing so I can just imagine I’ll be much more happier whenever I get the chance to start playing again. I wouldn’t say there are any similarities, just the simple fact that I’m here to do one thing which is enjoy playing football like I did back home.”
The draw for the Nations League takes place on March 3rd, and Gibraltar are top seeds in League D. De Barr opened the scoring against Armenia in the same competition back in 2018, so how does he feel Gib can do, especially given Gibraltar will face a similar standard of opposition to themselves? “I’m sure that myself and my teammates in the national team are excited for the Nations league, it will be a very exciting campaign. As people from the outside see a great chance in achieving something this time round, I’m not too focused on that. Football is a very unpredictable sport, so you never know what to expect. The team will always try to achieve something great.
We’ve come up against some of these teams that we could possibly be facing and we’ve won and lost some so that’s what will make this campaign interesting and I’m just looking forward to it and making sure that if I have the chance to play I’ll be ready and fit.”