Adelaide AFLW defender Ange Foley is determined not to let a devastating moment on grand final day get her down.
Foley landed awkwardly after going for a defensive spoil in in the third quarter of the flag decider against Brisbane in March.
She underwent ACL surgery shortly after before commencing a long rehabilitation.
Speaking to AFC Media, the 32-year-old was vowing to be positive and rebound from the injury.
“I’m the sort of athlete where I want to make sure I tick every box and I haven’t missed a single rehab session yet,” Foley said.
“I’ve never had a serious injury before this – not even a rolled ankle.
“I tried to have a bit of an off season to take a breath, but I’m pretty keen to get back to some sort of training with the girls.”
Foley is now almost five months post-surgery and has been moved to Adelaide’s inactive list for this coming season but still has plans to play her part, albeit from the sidelines.
“I started running again three weeks ago, so I can at least now do some straight line running with the girls and I can kick a footy,” Foley said.
“I’m happy where I am at in terms of my rehab.
“Being around the trainers and physio every couple of days, rather than every couple of weeks, they can monitor my progress and pick up some things that will hopefully really speed up my progress.
“I just want to involve myself, be around the girls and be part of that team environment again.”
And she has already eyed a comeback to football.
“Fingers crossed I can play some footy in the back end of the SANFLW season and then I can start thinking about what next summer looks like,” Foley said.
“I love being part of this team and while rehab makes it hard, I will be part of the group as much as I can.”
Away from football, Foley has her hands full as the Sports Coordinator at Seymour College, where she plays a hands-on role sharing her passion for football with her students.
She accompanied two school teams to compete in a recent Optus Crows Cup, a 9-aside inter-schoolgirls football carnival aimed at encouraging participants to give football a go in a fun and safe environment.
Foley said the carnival was the perfect entry for girls to try football for the first time.
“When I started teaching, football was an outlet from the sport they normally chose,” Foley said.
“But now we have footy-first girls joining local clubs because they have had a chance to try it at things like the Optus Crows Cup and they are really good at it.
“The girls get to meet people like Sarah (Allan) who is an all-Australian fullback, and they can see how much she loves footy.
“We have students who went a couple of years ago and they still talk about how much fun they had.”
Season six of the AFLW competition will now kick off on the weekend of January 6-9, after originally being slated to begin in December.