The January signing is not ready to start in the Tigers midfield at Portsmouth in League One today, but will be hoping for minutes from the bench. If he gets them, they will be his first in the Football League since the 2017 car crash as an on-loan Chesterfield player which put his whole career in doubt.
“My career was kind of cut short but I feel like I’m back to where I wanted to be a few years ago so I just look on it as a second chance,” reflects the 25-year-old.
“It was either stay in hospital for a while (three weeks) and see how it felt or get operated on but I wouldn’t play football again so obviously I took the first option of seeing how it healed. Luckily once I was back in rehab and training I knew I was going to get back to where I wanted to be.”
When he was ready to return, Flores had a spell at Ostersunds, the Swedish club with a very strong English flavour, but a further injury stopped him playing for them.
Although Ostersunds offered another contract, he preferred to move closer to home and try his luck with League or Ireland side Dundalk.
Highlights of his two years included an incredible volley against Shamrock Rovers to win the 2020 Puskas Award for worldwide goal of the year, and Europa League performances against Molde and Arsenal, scoring against the Gunners.
When his contract expired in December he moved to Hull, impressing in what he describes as part-trial, part-getting to know one another. Now it is his early experiences he will lean most heavily on.
Despite a name which points to Spanish heritage, Flores’s accent is pure Wigan, where he won the title Hull are playing for now.
“When I was 19 I was in this exact position at the top of League One at Wigan so I’ve been there and done it and I kind of know what it takes to win a league,” he says. “It’s the togetherness of the team that will take us through. There will be times when we’ll get tested and we won’t get the result we want but it’s about how we bounce back from those results and getting a string of wins.
“Since I’ve come in the lads are doing things right.
“The standard of players is very good, there’s a lot of talented players in there. It is a big squad but you do need it at this level with so many games, and I’m sure the squad will get used.”
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