How would you react if you were a footballer and, in one blow, you were not only told your move to the biggest club in your country was off, but also that you would miss most of the following season?
That’s what happened to David Turnbull, Motherwell’s 20-year-old midfielder who was named the Scottish Premiership’s young player of the year last season, which meant he had a choice between moves Celtic and the English Premier League and Norwich last summer.
He opted for Celtic, but in his medical it was discovered that he needed an operation on his knee, the recovery from which has kept him out of football ever since.
The rehabilitation process has been an extremely long one, but it was been documented in a new film put together by the Motherwell media team and friend of the Totally Scottish Football Show, Laura Brannan.
The film documents the painstaking process of returning from a setback such, from the obvious physiotherapy to the fact that these things are just extremely boring for the player involved.
“It’s been eight months in the making,” Laura said on the Totally Scottish Football Show this week. “We wanted to show that at the end of his journey he was mentally and physically ready to be come back that player everyone had talked up. We’re lucky at Motherwell in that everyone behind the scenes trusts the media team in terms of access and output, so we just wanted to make the most of it.
“It hasn’t really been done in Scottish football before, and we just wanted to get it out there and get it noticed.”
At such a young age, it would be entirely understandable if Turnbull decided that he wanted to keep the process of his recovery to himself, and not be followed around by a camera for eight months. But not in this case.
“Right from the start he’s been a dream to work with. I’ve worked with players that have egos and clubs that have restrictions, so it was nice that with Motherwell we’ve got that confidence and trust.
“At the start I think there was a wee bit of reluctance [from him] – “is this a good idea? Should you be following me? Are we going to show too much here?” – but he was all for it. We went down to London with him a couple of times for scans, and we were filming everything, including private medical information, and he was still trusting us, saying “It’s fine, you’ll make a call at the end of it as to what’s right and what’s wrong to use.”
“He was great, he was so laid back about it all. Even watching games from the stands, we’d have a camera in front of him and for a young boy that could be quite intimidating, but he just got on with it.
“He was so used to me just texting him saying “what are you doing today? Can we come round?” And he’d just saying “Yep, that’s fine.”
The film is excellent and you should all watch it, particularly when you consider it was put together by such a small group of people.
“We’ve got a team of three in the media department, and luckily it’s a talented team of three and we’re all dedicated to it. We’re given the freedom to do it, so we’re not just doing the same stuff that everyone else is. We want it to be eye-catching, we want it to stand out. And not just in Scottish football – world football too.”
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