Cruel twists and courage beneath Harrison's heartwarming Westfield Matildas return
This was not the way Sydney FC midfielder Amy Harrison wanted to earn her Westfield Matildas re-call.
But the 22-year-old knows better than most that football can be a cruel game.
It is why Harrison will not be losing sleep over replacing injured Sydney FC teammate Chloe Logarzo for Australia’s Cup of Nations campaign.
Instead, the Sky Blues dynamo is savouring her fiercely-earned return to the national spotlight, thrilled by the lure of a fresh start, a FIFA Women’s World Cup ticket and a chance to re-ignite her Westfield Matildas career after so much injury heartbreak.
In February 2018, those dreams lay in tatters after Harrison suffered her second anterior cruciate ligament rupture.
“This time last year I was learning how to walk again,” Harrison told www.wleague.com.au.
“To think that in a year’s time I’d have just won a Grand Final and be challenging to go to a World Cup and about to go to America… it doesn’t really seem real to be completely honest.
“But these are the things that got me through the days where I wanted to give up.
“And to have it all start to pay off I think is a testament to how hard I’ve had to work and the people around me who have had to help me get back to where I am now.
“It’s not the way you want to get called up [and] I’m gutted for Chloe, but I’ve been speaking to her a fair bit and I’m confident she’ll be ok.
“She’s all good and Chloe’s a good person so she’s happy for me. It is what it is at the end of the day.”
10 days after replacing Logarzo in the Westfield W-League Grand Final, Harrison finds herself part of the same exchange for Ante Milicic’s inaugural Cup of Nations squad.
And while Westfield Matildas fans will rue Logarzo’s absence from the tournament, Harrison won’t be despairing.
That’s because the two friends, alongside Sydney FC shot-stopper Aubrey Bledsoe, have all signed for National Women’s Soccer League outfit Washington Spirit in 2019.
It will be the first time the Camden-born playmaker travels overseas in her career.
“It’s super exciting. It makes a big move a little less daunting when you’ve got someone that you’ve grown up within the past few years,” Harrison said.
“To have her [Logarzo] and Aubrey, we’re all going to be living together, it makes it a little less daunting and we’re both super excited.
“I’ve been getting called the short straw at the moment… apparently, I can’t cook, we’re just trying to let each other know what we can bring to the table.
“They’ve both been overseas a few times, this is my first one so I’m the rookie in this situation but it’s going to be so much fun.”