It has been a remarkable journey for Melbourne Victory midfielder Jessica Humble who has returned to the Westfield W-League squad this season after almost giving up the game.
It has been a remarkable journey for Melbourne Victory midfielder Jessica Humble who has returned to the Westfield W-League squad this season after almost giving up the game only two years ago.
Humble played her first W-League match in three years in Victory-s most recent home fixture against Canberra and will be looking to make another start as Sydney visits the Victorian Capital for the first time on Saturday.
Faced with an extended period on the sideline following a serious ankle injury, doubts about ever playing again soon started to linger in Humble-s mind.
“At one stage I gave up hope of playing in the W-League again,” she said.
“I had to have a bone graft in 2010 so for a while I wasn-t sure if I was ever going to be playing again at all, let alone in the W-League.”
But recover she did, and soon Humble had returned to the Women-s Premier League club she had called home for many years, Box Hill United, in the process winning the first ever Victorian women-s treble during the 2012 season.
In a strange twist of irony, it was a serious injury to long-time friend and teammate Louisa Bisby which allowed Humble the opportunity to return to the top tier as an injury replacement player.
“I-ve known Bis for thirteen years now, ever since I was about thirteen, so it was sad to see her go down; it-s always sad to see someone you-ve known for so long have such a devastating injury.”
While admitting she had conflicted emotions being brought into the squad under such circumstances, Humble insisted she wasn-t going to waste this opportunity.
“The plus side of Bis-s injury is that it has given me an opportunity to come into the squad which I-m definitely happy about.
“I-m trying to do my best as I feel I-m playing on behalf of her and myself.”
Having not played W-League for so long, it would have been understandable had Humble been eased back into first team contention but she had to hit the ground running; starting two consecutive matches out of position against both the 2011-12 Grand Finalists - though she wouldn-t have had it any other way.
“I was definitely thrown into the deep end but I loved it.
“I-d rather be in there than out and not in the pool at all - it-s great to have a chance. I did alright not having played in the W-League for a couple of years but there are definite improvements I still have to make.”
Now that Humble has almost come full circle, the last piece of the puzzle is still yet to be achieved; winning some long-overdue silverware for Melbourne Victory.
“Speaking on behalf of the team we want to win. Winning and expecting to win is something no-one in Victoria has been used to but we expect that this year.
“There are a lot of young girls coming through which is great to see for Victorian soccer, and the internationals we have this year are of a higher quality than when I played last time.”