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EXCLUSIVE: Dundee’s forgotten man Alex Jakubiak on the hardest 18 months of his life and stepping up for the Dark Blues in a crisis

Dundee forward Alex Jakubiak.
Dundee forward Alex Jakubiak.

Alex Jakubiak’s time at Dundee can be summed up by one word – injured.

The move north from Watford after a massive nine loan spells was supposed to be the forward’s coming of age as a footballer.

Some of those temporary moves were successful but always temporary.

But he saw the two-year deal at Dens Park as a chance to “put down roots” and to “prove a point”.

‘Just want to show what I am capable of’

However, after ankle (six weeks), thigh (almost five months), Covid (10 days) and then a shoulder injury (almost three months) he feels like he’s not had the opportunity to do that.

Since arriving in the summer of 2020, Jakubiak has only made three league starts for the club.

“This last 18 months have been the hardest of my life,” he told the Courier.

Alex Jakubiak celebrates scoring in the opening game of this season, his first Dundee goal.

“It’s the only time I’ve not been able to play football since I started.

“I was so excited when I joined.

“Coming up here, I wanted to showcase what I can do and I still don’t feel I’ve had that chance because of the injuries.

“I just want the opportunity to show what I am capable of.

“I feel like the fans are wondering – he’s come in, he’s injury-prone, he’s this, he’s that.

“I’d never had any injuries before so it’s been a bit of bad luck and the timing hasn’t been great.

“But I still have so much to show and offer this club.”

Shoulder injury

Just days after an interview in this publication where he stated ‘this is it’ as he returned to the first-team once more, Jakubiak’s injury misfortune struck again.

This time, however, it didn’t happen on the park.

Jakubiak was hurt after an altercation in Dundee city centre during a night out. An injury that saw him needing shoulder surgery.

And out for another three months.

“I’m not going to say anything again about coming back or anything like that!” he joked.

Jakubiak in action in the autumn derby.

He added: “It was more frustrating it happened away from the pitch and probably more frustrating from the club’s point of view.

“I’ve said about all my injuries before that the club have been great, Gerry (Docherty) the physio has helped me step by step.

“Part of my game is quite physical, using my body to hold off defenders so I’ve had to be a bit careful coming back.”

‘I didn’t even think about it, I knew the situation’

The former Scotland U/19 international made only his 12th appearance for the club in yet another return against Hearts last weekend.

Due to an injury crisis among the rest of the squad, Jakubiak was the only senior outfield sub named on the bench despite having not trained fully.

Coming off the bench for the final 10 minutes, Jakubiak was just pleased to be back out on the pitch.

“I haven’t trained a lot since coming back from the injury,” he added.

“I’m only 10 weeks post-op and there is still a limit to what I can do in terms of contact stuff in training.

“Obviously I knew the situation with the squad and I told the manager I would do a job if I had to.

“I didn’t even think about it, I knew the situation we were in.

“I had done a lot of running so I feel fit in that sense but there is only so much you can replicate on the training ground.

“In a game anything can happen at any moment.

“I hadn’t done much contact stuff in training but it felt good out there again.”

 

‘My grandfather was captured by the Germans but escaped two or three times’: Dundee newboy Alex Jakubiak doesn’t have to look far for inspiration

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