However, the 20-year-old has “no regrets” over missing out on sharing the high-profile stage with his old friends and instead insists his focus is only on the chance to rejoin his new colleagues back out in the Irish League.
Guy joined a television audience of millions in watching a Villa side comprised of players from the club’s under 23s and youth set-up face a Liverpool line-up at the start of January packed with established internationals and Premier League champions.
Having been on the Villa books for around a decade, Guy looked on with pride as friends and team-mates embraced the unique circumstances created by the isolation of his club’s first-team squad due to multiple positive tests for coronavirus.
It signals Guy’s focus on future progress and ambition to maximise his loan spell in the Irish League with Portadown that he views having missed out on his chance at sharing the pitch with such leading Liverpool names as a short-term disappointment in pursuit of long-term goals.
On the same night Villa attracted widespread praise for such a spirited performance against Liverpool, Guy was learning of confirmation by Irish League officials that a two-week circuit breaker would be introduced in response to Northern Ireland’s rising coronavirus figures.
Guy returned to training this week with Portadown, having missed due to injury every Danske Bank Premiership fixture since providing an assist on the opening day of the campaign against Glenavon.
The impact of the coronavirus restrictions left Guy living on his own for the first time – away from family, friends and his parent club in England but unable to socialise with anyone from current club Portadown due to lockdown.
“I could have been involved against Liverpool but was just happy for the boys,” said Guy. “Of course I would have been buzzing to play in that Liverpool match, I’m from Birmingham and a boyhood Villa fan – but I’ve no regrets.
“I’m here for the season and that’s my focus.
“When the opportunity came up to join Portadown I thought it would be a good move for my long-term plans and that’s still the same way to look at everything.
“It’s about what’s best for my career, not just missing out on one game, no matter who it was against.
“I was in touch with lots of the lads before and after the game and it’s just a brilliant memory for them to have and amazing experience.
“I watched the game here in Portadown and it was all going on in the FA Cup tie around the same time I was learning about our two-week break from training and games.
“I was in touch with Ports manager Matthew Tipton and just trying to get settled into the new house but still gutted I wouldn’t be involved much a few days into arriving back here from injury.
“I was able to get in one training session after coming back over before the last delay came in.
“The house is in the Killicomaine area of town and another Portadown player, Lee Bonis, lives a few minutes away but I’ve not been able to visit him or really get out and meet anyone, or even bump into fans living around here.
“We have the players’ WhatsApp group chat going and I play X-Box with a few of the lads online, so we’ve still been able to keep in touch.
“When we couldn’t train or play I just concentrated on staying active and busy and would fill my time by going for runs in the area, playing X-Box, watching films and catching up with friends and family.
“The club have set everything up and it’s great, with everything I could need.
“I’ve just been trying to keep busy and keep up my fitness as much as possible.
“At Villa I was either in digs or living at home…so I’m having to learn to cook for myself!
“It’s just about keeping the focus on the bigger picture.
“To have a career in full-time football you need to make sacrifices and do what’s best for your long-term ambitions.”
Guy enjoyed a promising Portadown debut in October’s Mid-Ulster derby delight at Glenavon – providing the pass for Stephen Murray to celebrate the club’s return to top-flight football after three years with a first Premiership goal.
Now, having lost months due to the unusual conditions created by injury and lockdown, Guy is counting down the days until his return to the familiarity of a footballer’s routine.
“When I first came over late last year I was living in Belfast with another Portadown player, Conal McGrandles, for a few weeks then I had to go back to England after my injury against Glenavon,” said Guy. “I ended up with a dislocation on my right little finger and it was also broken in a few places.
“It was such a weird injury after going up for a header and falling to the floor.
“I went to the hospital for an x-ray and then sent that to Villa, who told me to come home straight away as they felt it was serious.
“I’ve had two operations on it now, thankfully, the finger has fully healed and I cannot wait to get back out on the pitch for Portadown and make up for lost time.
“I had watched some clips of the Irish League to help me get adjusted and been here for training and minutes in pre-season.
“It was an easy decision to make to stay on until the rest of the season as I’d only been able to play in the one game against Glenavon.
“But being involved in the pre-season work gave me a good feel for the club and everyone has been really friendly and I’m certainly happy at Portadown and looking forward to getting back to a regular routine of training and games.
“The standard in training is really good, with a fast tempo.
“I was really impressed with Matthew’s plans for the team and season and how I would fit in, so I really feel coming to Portadown is going to be a good opportunity.
“It’s been the strangest time over my 10 years in football really.
“I’ve never missed such a long period with injury before and then dealing with the lockdown restrictions on top of everything.
“But the players and staff around the club have been great.
“So now I just want to focus on the football.”
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