Steve Black put his injury nightmare behind him by helping Portsmouth Beach Soccer Club to back-to-back Super Cup Trophy wins.
After breaking his leg in last year’s quarter-final, the former Moneyfields star had to watch from the sidelines as his side claimed glory.
But on Sunday he played a key role as Portsmouth cruised to a 5-4 triumph over Sandown Sociedad on the Isle of Wight.
Black, who also coaches the side, was thrilled to be back in action just 12 months after having metal pins put in his shin.
He admitted his recovery was testing.
But it was all made worthwhile with the victory – even if the Portsmouth outfit made life difficult for themselves.
‘The whole recovery took about seven months,’ said the skipper.
‘I was having physio three times a week and also swimming. It was hard.
‘We won two games in the group stages and lost one.
‘We were very happy to beat Sandown in the final.
‘We have played them before, so it was nice to beat them.’
Black has earned more than 35 caps for England, scoring seven goals along the way.
Although the broken leg halted his England career, Black has not given up on his international ambitions.
He said, ‘I’ve started training with the England squad again.
‘And I am still hopeful I will be able to get back into the team.’
Portsmouth Beach Soccer Club only formed three years ago and have already won numerous honours.
Black has been delighted with the progress they have made.
He said: ‘As a club we have progressed really quickly over the short amount of time we’ve been playing.
‘We have already won the Super Cup twice and Dorset Cup.
‘We have also been to the European Championships in Italy, all in just three years.
‘We are competing in Bournemouth in August and then we have got the national qualifiers, which are always tough.’
Black said the team spirit helped his recovery and was very happy to be back into action.
He said: ‘We have a good group of lads and they have really helped carry me through.
‘The celebrations on Sunday were special.’
Portsmouth Beach Soccer Club are looking for new sponsorship, to find out more visit crowdfunder.co.uk/portsmouth-beach-soccer-club