THIS season just seems to get more and more frustrating, both for the Dragons and for me personally.

The nightmare continues for me and my ‘corned beef calf’; the Rodney Parade pitch no doubt had an effect but it’s a conundrum to be properly diagnosed.

I’m devastated to be injured. I had been hoping to finally get a run of games in the PRO14 run-in but instead I’m set for another lay-off after the injury against Connacht.

My calf has caused me issues through the years but had been fine for months until I came off the bench last weekend.

The pitch actually looked ok when I arrived but it was clear from the warm-up that it was going to be tough having to wade through the sand and mud.

The ground staff work so hard but it’s an impossible task for them and what makes it worse is that we train on the 4G pitch in Ystrad Mynach, a surface that couldn’t be more different.

South Wales Argus: TOUGH: Newport County have to cope with challenging conditions at homeTOUGH: Newport County have to cope with challenging conditions at home

The pitch is brutal for those who are susceptible to soft tissue injuries and I have great sympathy for Newport County AFC trying to play at a higher pace and pass the football with it bobbling all over the place.

We have strength in depth in the back row but it’s being tested at the moment. I was injured soon after coming on for Harri Keddie, who suffered a concussion.

It was a case of hobbling on for a while, trying to contribute in any way possible and I was happy to get a turnover at the end all things considered!

The Covid season has had many twists and turns for me personally with a series of quarantines and isolations making it very stop-start.

I’ve had my fair share of injures over the years and after recovering from a fifth operation this time last year, I was looking forward to getting back to it.

Twelve months on and we are still being affected by the pandemic, something nobody would have predicted.

There have been so many twists of fate – I came back against Wasps in December and was captain in Bordeaux before looking forward to the return fixtures… only for them to be cancelled.

In this season you just have to smile and carry on to avoid the depression.

I just hope that I can get a chance to get back out on the field in the PRO14 run-in and then whatever follows that, be it the Rainbow Cup or some other games.

It’s not just on the field that I’ve been hit by the pandemic, this season I was due to do many CPD (Continuing Professional Development) events and activities, plus my WRU level four course that would help my transition from player to coach.

When signing my last Dragons contract it was an important detail for me that they would help me in the next stage of my career.

Everything that had been proactive towards that has been put on the back burner; to do the equivalent of a masters course in coaching you need to have a team to coach for putting into practice what we have learnt.

South Wales Argus: TRANSITION: Like Sam Hobbs, I want to move into coachingTRANSITION: Like Sam Hobbs, I want to move into coaching

Having seen many boys from other regions go on similar player-to-coaching pathways, I was hoping to continue coaching the younger guys within the region with the Dragons A team like I did a few years ago with Sam Hobbs and Matt O’Brien.

I’ve been climbing the coaching ladder for years with Gwent districts and the Dragons age-grade with fellow coaches Jimmy Norris, Jason Tovey and Hugh Gustafason .

I’ve enjoyed the experiences and learnt a lot along the way, coaching the likes of Jack Dixon, Hallam Amos, James Benjamin, Elliot Dee when they were coming through as youngsters from 15.

This was meant to be a transition year for me but I also feel for many of the young lads who are missing out on the early enjoyable development years.

They must be even more frustrated than me. Plenty of players haven’t played in a long time and have missed the chance to either push for Dragons selection or put themselves in the shop window for other clubs.

I’m at a different stage of my career but share their frustration at being sidelined after getting injured in a very disappointing defeat.

We headed into the Connacht game after a big three-week block of conditioning; it tested our fitness and pushed us to the limit ahead of the run-in.

We were hoping to come out looking fresh but unfortunately it seemed to lead to a lacklustre performance.

It is now really important to get that next home win and to strive to get the performances better week by week, although our flow has been disrupted by yet another postponement.

The driving maul was a success last week and these are the types of positives that we need to build on for the next few games. Now we need to find more goals to improve on for the rest of the season.