Kyah Simon has heaped praise on struggling Melbourne City for not rushing her back from her achilles injury.
City sit eighth on the table with six games left in the season and it’s now time for the club to get the ball rolling if they are any chance of making it four championships in a row.
The Cityzens were depleted going into this season with several key players out due to late arrivals from international clubs, injuries and national team duty.
Things are looking up - City got their second win of the season a fortnight ago against Newcastle Jets away and now have a clean bill of health after the return of Steph Catley. But while results haven’t gone City’s way, Simon praised the club for letting her properly recover from her Achilles trouble.
“City have been really great in terms of being patient with me,” Simon told The Women’s Game.
“It’s really hard when you’re a part of a club that has so much pressure on them to be successful and to achieve things.
“To have that patience; the club has supported me through this whole rehab and really taken it one step of a time, (they) haven’t rushed me back when I’m not ready and with the achilles injury I had, a big thing was making sure it was managed properly before I got back on the park."
Coach Rado Vidosic added earlier in the season that the club was obliged to make sure their players were fit going into next year’s World Cup.
“It gave me a lot of internal confidence in the club, Rado has been amazing with that as well, not putting any pressure on me to race back," Simon continued.
"He has also expressed to me that France next year is a crucial one for us, and to make sure I’m 100% fit heading into next year.”
Vidosic played young players Nia Stamatopoulos, Chelsea Blissett, Janna Lawson and Aimee Medwin amongst the number of key outs which included Elise Kellond-Knight and Tameka Butt.
Simon added it was good to throw the younger players in the deep end early.
“Our youngsters had to fill the shoes of us older, experienced players and they’ve been great,” she said.
“They’re trying to help us raise the level of our training environment, but also when we need to step up and play, they’ve been able to do that to the best of their ability. I’m excited they did get a taste of W-League and they’ll continue to get a taste.
“We pretty much have everyone on our roster fit and healthy despite it coming in the second half of the season, but I also think it gives us a lot of confidence in our own ability that we now have our full-strength team.”
City take on Canberra United on Saturday afternoon.