WHILE many spend the early days of the new year contemplating a booze free month, for Chester FC’s George Green the opportunity to make a fresh start in 2019 was something he almost never got.

On his 23rd birthday this week, Green tweeted: “Although I’ve turned 23 the most important part of today is that I’m 162 days clean and sober on my birthday and I get to spend this special day with my two beautiful children and for that I am blessed.”

It marks a remarkable turnaround for the former Everton and England prospect, whose battles with addiction and depression saw him contemplating suicide before a move to Chester last summer prompted a career-saving comeback as Green fought back from a debilitating back injury to make his long awaited home debut in New Year’s Day draw with Southport.

“It’s come faster than I think everyone expected but getting 90 minutes under my belt was the main thing,” said Green, following the 0-0 stalemate in which he was one of Chester’s stand out performers.

“Obviously after eight months out I’m going to feel it but I’ve now got through two 90 minute games and I’ve dug deep and reaped the rewards.

“I do what I need to do in training on a Tuesday and Thursday night and I do my bit away from the pitch too where I work hard in the gym. I’ve got myself a diet plan and a personal trainer so everything is coming together quite nicely.”

The injury hit Blues’ disappointing results over Christmas saw them slip to sixth in the table, but Green sees plenty of reasons for optimism as the squad prepares for a promotion push in the second half of the season.

“It was tough out there against Southport, but we can’t jump on the fact we’ve got players missing too much,” he said.

“We’ve got to concentrate on the squad we’ve got and compared to the last two games we dug deep and tried to grind a result out and given the circumstances I thought we performed well as a team."

Green donned the number 10 shirt and he believes it is in the playmaker’s role that he can excel with the Blues, who head to FC United of Manchester tomorrow with Akwasi Asante looking to impress after signing on a permanent deal at The Deva.

“It’s not my choice where I play in the team but wherever I am I will give it 100 per cent every single time,” he said.

“The bosses believe in me playing in that position and I enjoy being with Gary Roberts in the midfield. He’s experienced and it’s a pleasure playing next to him.

“We can’t ponder on all these players who are out. We have a squad of 16 and regardless of injuries we’ve got to go out on the pitch and put a performance in.

“Would you rather go through a string of defeats now or at the end of the season? We can get through this patch and get a promotion at the end of the year which is what everyone wants.

“For the last six months I’ve been clean, healthy and I’m doing everything right off the pitch so the gaffers are happy.

“2019 is the first time I’ve come into a new year when I’m clean and mentally I know what I want and physically I’m in pretty good shape so as long as I carry on doing what I’m doing on and off then pitch I don’t think I can go too far wrong.

“I know my limits and I know where I want to be in five years time and that’s playing football at a very good level and earning some decent money. I want to make a name for myself. The fans have been class and hopefully I can make that up to them on the pitch.”

There are still standing tickets remaining for Chester's trip to Broadhurst Park to face FC United this Saturday. Chester FC’s Ticket Office is open on Friday from 10am to 4pm for sales.