Girls FC Q&A: Lana Harch

Adjudged both the player of the match in the grand final and player of the year in the inaugural Westfield W-League season

Adjudged both the player of the match in the grand final and player of the year in the inaugural Westfield W-League season, Brisbane Roar-s Lana Harch is a player we love to watch. Which is why there were plenty of hearts in mouths when she injured her ankle and was stretchered off shortly before half time in last week-s Westfield W-League grand final. Lana took time out from her rehab to speak to us (and on a Sunday, no less!) about how her ankle is and what the next few months hold.

We-re not sure how much you-ve seen on Girls FC, but lots of fans have been asking how you were going. You-ve got quite a fan base!

Thanks. It-s nice to have people who are interested in your wellbeing. And it reminds you when were young and you wanted to do the same for older players who you look up to.

You were having a blinder this season, including in the grand final, but were stretchered off just before half time. Not a fun way to end the season?

You can-t say getting injured in the grand final isn-t disappointing. I felt like things were going really well. I felt that our team had had a good start to that first half. But I think it would have been more disappointing if we-d had a loss. The team showed a lot of heart. Can you run us through what happened?

The ball was coming in from KK [Elise Kellond-Knight] on the left, mid-height, and I had defenders on both sides of me. The defender on the right-hand side was also going for the ball at the same time and I might have taken a slight knock when we were in the air. When I landed on my left foot, I was slightly off balance. My foot landed awkwardly.

What-s the prognosis?

Thankfully it-s just been a very bad sprain and I-ve hurt a few of the ligaments, because when it first happened, it definitely felt like a break. So it-s a better prognosis of rehab—four weeks instead of much longer.

Sounds painful.

The pain in the game—I hadn-t felt pain like that in a long time. But over the last few years, I-ve been pretty blessed. The last injury was osteitis pubis [Girls FC had to go look that up. Turns out ‘OP-, as it-s commonly called, is an issue with the pubis bone, which results in nasty groin pain. Worse, there-s no specific treatment or cure].

OP is pretty tricky, because it-s different in every individual-s case. It can be temperamental, because you do a session one day and everything feels fine, and then you do the same session two days later and it feels horrible. But most people have done ankle ligaments before and there-s generally a good way to rehab them.

Did you get to watch the rest of the game?

They were a bit concerned that I-d broken my foot, plus I was in a lot of pain, so no. But I was getting updates via my phone so I knew we-d won.

Did you get to celebrate with the team that night?

I didn-t get to see the whole team when I got back, because some had already left the stadium. I was in a half cast and we just hopped on the plane home. It was kind of a different way to end the grand final. I think the girls were in the change room for quite a while, and that-s when they did most of their celebrating.

The end of the season generally means some down time, but we-re guessing you-ll be concentrating on rehab?

It-s already been a week of rehab, with lots of ice and elevation. The next four weeks will be really important in making sure the ligaments heal properly. It means I-m not really going to get the break that we-re meant to have [laughs], but sometimes you get injuries, and injuries are never convenient.

So apart from rehab, what do the next few months hold for you? Are you working towards a return to the Matildas?

It-d be nice, but obviously I-d need to know what Tom Sermanni is thinking, which I don-t know at the moment. The blessing is that I have played for Australia nearly 30 times, which has been amazing. I have had my ups and down over the last few years, either with injury or not being selected, so it-s hard to tell. Playing for Australia is always great and I-ll never take that for granted.

Thanks for speaking with us, Lana. And good luck with the rehab and the next few months!