Nine months ago, Jack Hingert’s football dreams were in a world of pain.
After working his way back into the Roar first team, the 24-year-old injured his knee in a 3-1 loss to Melbourne City on 8 November last year.
Hingert didn’t think the injury was too bad and played on until half-time. The reality was it was a lot worse than he could have imagined.
After an operation to repair the torn ligament, Hingert began the long road back to fitness.
In a testimony to his resilience and determination, the right back not only returned to play the final rounds of the 2014/15 Hyundai A-League, but he also played every minute of the Roar’s six AFC Champions League Group Stage games.
He filled in at left back several times as the Roar’s defensive stocks were stretched by a hectic late-season match schedule and got on the scoresheet in Round 25 against Adelaide United where he celebrated with his now famous ”Karate KId’ dance with the corner flag.
“It is always tough when you get an injury and are out for a while. Half the season was gone by the time I got myself fit again,” Hingert said this week as he reflected on the tough times he endured at the end of 2014.
“I was really proud that I was able to get back into the squad and especially to play some Champions League football. That was really good experience.”
Hingert’s goal for 2015/16 is to make up for lost ground last year and play as many games as he can this season.
“I want to be fit and healthy which is why I am working extra hard in the gym and doing prehab and injury prevention exercises to make sure I stay fit and stay on the pitch,” he says.
“My goal is to play every game, start every game. But I have some good competition at fullback this season so I have to do everything I can to get a spot.”
Hingert’s new season got off to a flyer when he started in the Roar’s friendly match against Liverpool FC last month. He played 72 minutes in that match at both right and left back.
“That was a massive experience and I have to build on that,” he says.
“I’m happy where I am at the moment but there’s a lot more hard work to be done.
“It’s all about moving forward now and showing the Boss (John Aloisi) what I can do and how I can help the team get back to the top again this season.”