After making her return from an ACL injury last week against Melbourne City, Mariel Hecher is ecstatic to be back playing football after a long 12-month recovery process.
Hecher acquired an ACL tear in December 2022, and made her long-awaited return last Thursday at AAMI Park. The fan favourite brought joy to Brisbane fans as she took the pitch in the 83rd minute in a substitution for Sharn Freier.
The attacker looks forward to more match minutes as she settles back into the playing group.
“It felt pretty good, it was a long wait. I probably thought it was going to be less time that than what it was, but it is what it is. I’m pumped to be back, and I cannot wait to keep building on the minutes,” Hecher said.
“I’m very grateful for the club and the staff, they were helpful in the journey and process. It’s a feeling that you can’t describe, I was very anxious getting in. It was rough, I was very tired in ten minutes so still need to build a lot on those match minutes,” she added.
“Looking forward for what’s to come and hopefully I can continue helping the club.”
The 31-year-old is excited to be back at Perry Park to kick off 2024 with Round 11 of the Liberty A-League this Sunday evening.
“I’m really looking forward to it, I was hoping to do my first game at home. I’m excited and I cannot wait to see everyone there. I hope we get big numbers coming out to support us for the first game of the year,” she said.
“We’re expecting to win, we’ve been working hard in combinations, scoring goals and defensively.”
“We’ve been working hard since Alex has started to change a few things, even though the results haven’t gone our way yet we’re still trying hard and keep improving every time we play.”
Hecher commented on the playing style Head Coach Alex Smith is implementing and how the squad is responding to a more attacking approach.
“I think we’re creating alot of opportunities we’re just missing the scoring side of things, but we’re getting there. We’re continuing to build and working to continue to play Alex’s style. I think he’s pleased, we just got to continue to be patient and continue building,” she said.
“I love it, you’re closer to the goal and the chances you create is a lot higher. It suits my style and any attacking player. We’re excited and we hope we continue scoring more goals so we can make everyone happy.”
Hecher highlighted the positive impact of the crowd and the extra boost it gives on game day.
It’s a massive impact. It’s like having that extra player beside you, people shouting and supporting, it’s the most important part of the game. The game would be nothing without the fans. We appreciate Brisbane’s support and we just hope the numbers keep growing and growing.
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Liberty A-League Women 2023/24 – Round 11: Brisbane Roar vs Wellington Phoenix
Perry Park, Brisbane
Sunday, 7 January (5pm KO)