Young Hatter Josh Neufville’s loan at Yeovil Town came to a sad, early end over the weekend when the attacking midfielder suffered a broken ankle in the Glovers’ National League defeat at Altrincham.
The 20-year-old youth product has spent the past six months at Huish Park, initially joining the Glovers along with defender Gabriel Osho at the start of December.
Josh has scored five times in 31 appearances during his time in Somerset, helping Darren Sarll’s side fight their way out of a relegation battle when he joined and up to mid-table respectability.
“It’s one of those situations with Josh where if he’d stayed with me with the U21s, he’d have developed, but he wouldn’t have got the experience and education he’s had this season at Yeovil,” said professional player development boss Adrian Forbes.
“To go and play National League football, week in week out, and do as well as he’s done, you know he can do that now. We know the answer, and it’s been really pleasing to see the impact he’s had on that Yeovil team.
“Josh has the two things that no-one can coach – power and pace – and he’s taken that from academy, development football playing against lads his own age, into a men’s league where points and livelihoods are at stake.
“So although his time there has ended prematurely, and in a sad way, in the long run he’ll have gained so much from his time down at Yeovil.”
Josh suffered the injury 12 minutes into Saturday’s game at Moss Lane, with Yeovil going on to lose 4-3 – a result that left them 15th in the table.
The man who joined the Town as an Under-10, and has also gained loan experience at Solihull Moors and Woking in the fifth tier over the past two seasons, posted the following on Instagram.
"This is football! No sob stories. Everyone has a story to tell and this is a part of mine. Thanks for all the messages haven't had a chance to reply to everyone but the support is overwhelming."
View this post on Instagram
Forbes added: “I’ve had a brief conversation with Joshn and he knows he’ll get the best treatment here for his rehab. He’s generally a naturally positive person anyway, and you’ll see from his Instagram post that he’s taken it all in his stride as part of his journey.
“Yes it’s a set-back, but with his work-rate and mentality, Josh will show the right attitude to get back to full fitness, and you can guarantee he’ll be working tirelessly with the medical and sports science team so he can hit the ground running when the time comes.
“Everyone here wishes him a speedy recovery and will help him every step of the way.”
The other Hatter in action over the weekend for his loan club, Elliot Lee, also suffered an earlier end to the season than he’d hoped for, with Oxford’s 3-3 draw at Blackpool on Friday night not enough to see them through to the League One play-off final.
The U’s went out 6-3 on aggregate, with Elliot playing the first 69 minutes of the second leg, bringing his total appearances for Oxford to 20 since joining them on February 1st. The 26-year-old scored six times in that time.