'Fire in the belly': Sydney FC star Harrison winning fight for fitness
An upbeat Amy Harrison says the devastating second torn ACL she suffered in January has only strengthened her love for football and resolve to return to the Westfield W-League.
The versatile 22-year-old is closing in on a clean bill of health after long-term injuries to both knees cut short each of her past three seasons.
Sydney FC have remained loyal to the eight-cap Westfield Matilda during the ordeal, renewing her contract for the upcoming campaign, and Harrison can now see the light at the end of the latest tunnel.
But on January 3, sprawled across the Allianz Stadium turf with a second serious setback in just over two years, the former NAB Young Footballer of the Year was ready to give up the game.
"I can't even put into words. I was just so shocked," Harrison said.
"The doc came on and tested it, did the ACL test. I knew it was going to be difficult to test against my other knee because it wasn't a natural ACL.
"I thought maybe there was a bit of hope [but] you know when you look at the doctor or the physio's face and it's not good.
"It hit me a little bit when I sat on the bench and a whole rush of emotions came over. I had a bit of a cry.
"What I remember most is seeing my nan. Nan is not emotional, she is always positive, and I could tell she had been crying. That made me pretty upset.
"At that point in time, that day, I was like 'nup, not going through that again, there's no chance' because the previous one was 13 months and having to come back from that was the hardest thing I've had to do."
Fast forward eight months and one of Australia's brightest young talents has hope of featuring when Sydney FC open the new Westfield W-League season against Western Sydney Wanderers on October 25.
The intervening period has involved an arduous rehabilitation that tested the mind as much as the physical.
It has also intensified Harrison's passion for the sport.
"I probably love it more now than I did as a little five-year-old, because for [more than a combined] 20 months I've not been able to do it," she said.
"When you don't have something you want it more and more.
"It definitely puts the fire in my belly and reminds me I do love it more than anything. I'm doing everything I can to get back."