Kieran Freeman can be forgiven for going ‘a bit crazy’ as he put Dundee United 3-0 up in their Beautiful Saturday win at Hibernian.
At 21, Freeman has missed the best part of three years of his football career.
A series of major knee operations left Freeman sidelined during an ill-fated spell at English side Southampton.
He must have wondered if he’d ever enjoy the game again.
But he savours every single second he gets on the pitch.
Freeman plays the game with a smile on his face and is bursting with positivity off the park.
And for the player known as ‘Sheep’, there was no better feeling than celebrating his goal with the United fans on Saturday.
Sheep’s goal capped off a fine afternoon for United after Nicky Clark and Ryan Edwards had put them on the path to glory.
“I had too much time to think abut the shot,” said Freeman. “I squeezed it in and then ran away crazy.
“I should probably have milked it a bit more.
“I just love playing football and I want to be playing on this stage every week.
“With all those fans there it’s probably the best moment of my life.
“Just screaming and smiling at the fans and seeing the same on their faces was great.
“It makes the hard days worthwhile – not that I’d want to do that again.”
Kieran Freeman: Peterhead loan helped me fall in love with game again
Freeman spent last year on loan to Peterhead under the charge of Dundee United legend Jim McInally.
He played 26 times for Blue Toon and will be forever indebted to McInally for giving him the chance to play again.
“I hadn’t played for three years so to get that love waking up on a Saturday knowing it was matchday was great,” added Freeman.
“I hadn’t had that for three years – so it did wonders for me playing under Jim McInally.
“Learning off him and playing every week was vital.
“Those three years out were dreadful.
“You just learn to go in and enjoy doing physio.
“You have to, otherwise I dread to think what mental place I’d be in.
“But I much prefer Saturdays like this than those ones three years ago.”