By: Hibernian Media on 09 May, 2019 12:00
On 28 October 2018 Shannon McGregor was injured after half an hour of an SBS SWPL game against Rangers at Ainslie Park, requiring the help of two of her team-mates to leave the field of play.
Fast forward to the 79th minute of a match at the same venue, this time against Spartans, and the midfielder was stepping off the bench to help her side to all three points in the Edinburgh Derby.
It was a remarkable recovery period from a knee injury for the midfielder, especially as she revealed that she was not expected to be back until the second half of the 2019 campaign.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be back on the pitch. Even training and being a part of some of the games has been good,” said Shannon.
She continued: “I’ve been building up my game time as it’s a concern to go straight back into games, so I’m just building it back up now.
“I wasn’t expected to be back until the second half of the season, so to be back sooner is a positive.”
During her six months out, the 19-year-old was still a regular at training sessions, often sat forlornly looking at her team-mates, joking that it is good to not be feeling the chill.
Shannon also put in a lot of graft keeping her fitness levels up using non-impact cardio equipment and kept working on her strength and conditioning in the gym, putting in a power of work.
The endeavour shown by Shannon to return ultimately helped to quicken her return to action.
The midfielder said: “Putting in hard work during an injury like this is key. I’ve trained very hard throughout my injury.
“At the beginning it was a lot harder to keep up my fitness because you can’t do a lot of stuff, but when you are able to get out and do high intensity pitch training it increases your fitness a lot quicker.
“It was an amazing feeling to get back out onto the pitch again training, just being in that environment and not being sat in a dugout feeling freezing cold!”
Coming back early will allow Shannon to potential feature in Friday evening’s SWPL Cup Final against Glasgow City at Airdrie’s Pennycars Stadium, with the game kicking off at 7:35pm.
This has left her feeling “overwhelmed” as she could be involved in the final almost a year on from her side’s 2018 win over Celtic, in which she scored with an unstoppable angled half-volley into the top corner of the net.
Shannon commented:“I’m overwhelmed to be back in time for the SWPL Cup Final. I played last season and it would be amazing to get onto the pitch in this game coming up.
“Last season’s SWPL Cup was the first ever medal that I’d won in a cup. That feeling was phenomenal. The as well, it was great to be involved with them.
“My goal in that final is memorable as well, I’ll always look back on it and be proud of it.”
Now, the aim is for Hibernian to retain the SWPL Cup for a fourth successive season and keeping up their streak of domestic cup wins, with the team also winning the past three SSE Scottish Women’s Cup Finals.
That feeling of happiness after winning games is the real driving force behind the team’s hunger and desire to continue being successful, according to Shannon.
After last year’s success she is also hoping to claim a second winners’ medal in the competition with Hibernian.
“When you look at what we done last season, that happiness that you feel after winning cups and winning games, even in the league, it just drives you to want to play.
“That feeling after a match when you go home and know you’ve played well and being part of a team that’s winning games, it just feels amazing.
“I would love to win my second SWPL Cup medal on Friday. It’s what you aim for, you always want to win.
“Winning another medal with Hibs would be amazing.”
The match between Hibernian and Glasgow City takes place at the Pennycars Stadium, Airdrie, on Friday 10 May with a 7:35pm kick-off. Click here for ticketing information for the SWPL Cup Final.
Image: Craig Doyle.