Simon Church has won 38 caps for Wales and scored three goals

Twelve months ago Simon Church was enjoying the high point of his football career, a member of the Wales squad that defied the odds to reach the Euro 2016 semi-finals.

The adventure seemed set to continue with a move to join Dutch Eredivisie side Roda JC Kerkrade.

But just four games into the campaign Church suffered a serious hip injury that wrecked his season.

The contrast of fortune could not have been more stark, as Church endured surgery followed by a lengthy rehabilitation.

“It’s been a frustrating season for me off the back of last summer,” said the 28-year-old.

“I had the opportunity to play in a different country, a different league and then four games in I had to have hip surgery.

“That ruined everything, ruined my plans… it was really, really frustrating.

“It’s something [the hip problem] I’ve had over the years but I’ve never missed a day of training or a match through it.

“It’s been niggling away in the background but I’ve always managed to get a hold of it to stop it getting in the way.

“But as soon as I went to Roda I didn’t realise they played on astroturf and near enough half the teams [in the Dutch Eredivisie] play on astroturf.

“We were training in an artificial pitch every day and I think that was the main reason why, my hip couldn’t really handle the impact of it.

“I remember playing against Feyenoord and after taking a shot I was in so much pain I couldn’t carry on.”

Simon Church made his senior debut for Reading in 2007 and went on to make 104 appearances, scoring 22 goals

Scans confirmed the severity of the injury and surgery was followed by 10 weeks on crutches.

Roda allowed Church to stay home for three months to convalesce, before he returned to the Dutch club last January to continue his rehabilitation.

But with his one-year contract due to expire and Roda in the midst of a troubled takeover involving financier Aleksei Korotaev,