Jake Robinson says the worst injury of his career helped him realise how much he loves playing football.

Now the former Albion striker is hoping to help Worthing to promotion after returning from more than a year spent on the sidelines.

Rebels are preparing for another landmark occasion as they face Bath City live on TNT Sports on Sunday (3pm).

Both teams are targeting the promotion play-offs in Vanarama National League south although neither are in great form.

Robinson is relishing the chance to play a part after suffering a serious knee injury in his first game for the club on the opening day of last season.

What had looked like a dream debut when he scored after four minutes against Dover ended with him tearing his ACL attempting a tackle.

But he is back in action now and, at 37, enjoying his football.

He told The Argus: “It was over a year out and then I had a couple of niggly hamstring injuries which set me back a little bit.

“It was the first serious one I’d had in my career, which was 19 or 20 years.

“It wasn’t enjoyable and you never know, with my age it might have me taken slightly longer to heal than had I been 20, 21.

“I learned a lot about myself and how much I love football and wanted to come back.

“I’m feeling as fit now as I have since I joined Worthing.

“I’ve got no issues with the knee.

“It’s just building up my match fitness and getting my sharpness back.

“When I was declared fit again we had Ollie Pearce scoring about 14 goals in seven games.

“I was able to bide my time, pick up my minutes where I can and stay on top of the fitness “The injury probably spurred me on to do another year at least or two because it made me realise how much I missed it when I wasn’t playing.

“You are a long time retired but, as long as someone wants me and I can keep putting the ball in the back of the net, I’ll keep going.”

Having been Albion’s bright young star two decades ago, Robinson went on to play for Shrewsbury, Torquay, Northampton and Luton before moving into non-league.

But Worthing feels like a professional set-up.

He said: “From my first day here at training I was very impressed with how well it was run, how professional it was around the place, from the players to the backroom staff.

“Training has been fantastic - really intense and everything done for a purpose, which isn’t always the case in non-league football.

“You can see that off the pitch as well: “There’s a documentary which has been commissioned about the club and the ground is being improved with thoughts of going up a division.

“They have got all the right things in place to go up to the next level.

“I’m hoping this season to play a small part in that.”

Robinson goes along with what appears to be a consensus view that Worthing have not been playing too badly in their recent run of five defeats from six games.

He believes the departure of manager Adam Hinshelwood had an unsettling effect to a degree, although the club have looked for as much continuity as possible by naming former skipper Aarran Racine as interim boss.

Robinson said: “It’s the general disruption. It just kind of plays on people’s minds.

“There are people who have been here for four or five years and only had the one manager.

“We have gone for continuity. It is quite a unique squad that has been built here and the way we play is slightly different to other teams in this division.

“It wouldn’t have worked if we had brought someone in who changed too much.”

The Sussex Transport Community Stadium will have a different look tomorrow as a new West Stand is opened and TV cameras are dotted around the ground.

TNT were setting up as the players trained on Thursday.

Robinson said: “For a lot of the lads it’s the first time they have been on TV and there is just that general excitement of wanting to perform on a bigger stage.

“The publicity is great and hopefully we can show the country that we play done nice football and there is good quality at this level.”