Whyman’s long road to recovery

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Western Sydney Wanderers’ goalkeeper Jada Whyman believes her recent injury struggles have led her to grow as an athlete and a person.

Despite still being a teenager Whyman has signed on for an incredible fifth straight W-League campaign with the Red and Black. But unfortunately, her last two and a half years have been hampered by a niggling patella tendon tear.

Last December she experienced a “wear and tear moment” during the Wanderers’ round six clash with Canberra United which resigned her to the sidelines for the second half of their campaign.

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The re-injury arrived just months after Whyman had travelled to Europe with the Matildas and placed a harsh dampener on her World Cup aspirations.

Yet with an outlook well beyond her years, the 19-year-old can view the positives of her cruel misfortune.

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“It’s been hard mentally and physically but has pushed me to be more on top of my rehabilitation and gym,” she said.

“To be honest it has pushed me to be stronger throughout my whole body, not just my knee.

“It’s been up and down, but (its) probably made me a better athlete as a whole.”

The Australian youth international returned to action in late April with newly-promoted outfit New South Wales NPL outfit Sydney Olympic.

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She made 18 appearances as Olympic shocked many to finish in second spot and advance to the semi-finals.

“It was great playing with Sydney Olympic and also getting the chance to train with the men’s team,” Whyman said.

“I think it really gave me a break, but also a chance to still be competitive and enjoy my football during the offseason with a great bunch of girls.”

Upon confirmation of her return to Western Sydney ahead of the 2019/20 W-League season, Whyman is eager to reunite with some familiar faces.

However, she is equally keen to be a part of a “new chapter” for the club, who since their entrance into the competition in 2012/13 are still seeking a maiden W-League Finals appearance.

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Whyman said she believed a finals-berth was more than realistic considering club’s revitalised facilities, squad and coaching staff in the form of coach Dean Heffernan, and assistants Michael Beauchamp and Catherine Cannuli.

“Obviously the last few seasons haven’t been great, but I don’t think looking at the past is going to do any good for us,” she said.

“It’s going to be fantastic having past players as part of our staff this season. I really love that they have the passion and drive to do well for the club.

“The fact that they have that experience playing for the club means they really understand what it’s like being a player at a young age.”

 

Feature Image Credit: Kellie Lemon

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Chris Curulli
Passionate Sports Media student and all round football obsessive, covering the Western Sydney Wanderers for the 2019/20 season.