FORMER Wrexham striker Hector Sam returns to the Racecourse on Saturday anxious to make up for lost time.
The 28-year-old Trinidadian missed out on his nation’s World Cup adventure last summer because he broke his leg shortly after joining Port Vale in the summer of 2005, an injury that sidelined him for 10 months.
But his fortunes have taken a turn for the better following a move in July to Walsall, who travel to North Wales this weekend riding high at the top of League Two.
And Sam, who has scored four goals in 15 outings for the Saddlers, has also returned to the Trinidad fold, alongside former Wrexham colleagues Carlos Edwards and Dennis Lawrence.
Unfortunately passport problems denied him the opportunity to play in the October friendlies and he is impatient to pick up the threads of his international career.
"Not having the opportunity to go the World Cup was a massive disappointment for me," said Sam this week.
"But that has made me more determined than ever to bounce back and I’ve got my sights on going to the next one in 2010.
"Since I’ve been at Walsall, I’ve been recalled to the national squad, even though my passport problems meant I was not able to travel.
"But that has all been sorted out now and the next time I get the call I’ll definitely be on the plane."
In the meantime, though, Sam is concentrating on trying to hold down a regular spot in Walsall’s starting line-up and said he was desperately keen to start against his former club on Saturday.
"I’m really looking forward to going back to Wrexham, because it is where it all started for me," he added.
"I still keep in touch with a few of the boys there, like Juan Ugarte, Chris Llewellyn and Matty Crowell. I’ve seen Kevin Russell a few times as well and I still have a lot of friends in the area.
"When I went to Port Vale I had very little luck and I was out of the game for almost 10 months, so going to Walsall in the summer was like a new start for me.
"And fortunately I’ve been involved almost every week and we are going well," added the striker.
"We have a good mix of experience and younger players coming through and we like to try and play football, so it should be an exciting game on Saturday."
Walsall were beaten at home for the first time last Saturday by Wycombe Wanderers but Sam said confidence in the camp was undiminished.
"We’ll be coming to the Racecourse looking to win, but if I’m fortunate enough to score a goal or two, you won’t see any celebrations from me," he said.
"I’ve got too much respect for everyone at Wrexham and the fans to do that."