THE W-League season may not have ended perfectly for Wagga soccer star Jada Whyman, but she’s thankful for the experience.
The Western Sydney Wanderers goalkeeper sustained an injury from a clash during a Newcastle Jets match in December.
What was thought to be a cork of her right thigh developed into a muscle tear, and Whyman has been sidelined ever since.
She watched her team play Perth Glory, vying for seventh spot on the ladder of nine teams on Sunday, and the girls came through with a 2-0 victory.
“You always want to run out there and play, but Teagan [Micah] did a great job in goals, I’ll give it to her,” Whyman said.
Whyman admitted that injuries are path of the course for goalkeepers, who have no choice but to put their bodies on the line to save goals.
The injury certainly hasn’t curbed her enthusiasm for the game; in a couple of weeks she will begin pre-season training for the Premier League, playing for Football Institute.
Many fellow W-League players disperse and play in the Premier League during the winter months, with her team mates playing for Football Institute, the Mariners, Macarthur and the Stingrays.
Whyman and Griffith upstart Eliza Ammendolia dropped in on a coaching clinic to touch base with young soccer players from the Riverina.
Whyman remembers attending the same clinic a few years ago, seemingly a world away.
“We just shared our journey, I hadn’t even heard of the W-League at that stage," Whyman said.
Clinic organiser Andrew Mason praised Whyman and Ammendolia for their encouragement.
“The girls got a lot out of it and I think you inspired some to chase their dreams and follow in your footsteps,” he said via Facebook.
After a tough season, Whyman would like to continue playing for the Western Sydney Wanderers.
“It’s been a bit of a steep learning curve,” she said.
The highlight of the season was her W-League debut.
“Playing with my family there and all my friends, against Sydney FC against Kyah Simon was awesome,” Whyman said.
While it was disappointing not to qualify for finals, Whyman thoroughly enjoyed the closeness of the competition, with three draws and most of their six losses being incredibly tight.
“It was really exciting,” Whyman said.
Each game brought a new challenge, and the anticipation of not knowing what to expect amplified the fun.
“Sydney FC is a really good team, but they came in losing; anything can happen.”