'Week absolutely made' - Bríd Stack returns to team training in Australia after neck injury

‘There is no better feeling than seeing my favourite little man giving me a big clap at the end of training.’

Bríd Stack with her son, Carthach Óg.
Bríd Stack with her son, Carthach Óg.

CORK LEGEND BRÍD Stack has returned to training with her Australian Football League Women’s [AFLW] club eight weeks after suffering a worrying neck injury in pre-season. 

The 11-time All-Ireland champion sustained a stable fracture of the C7 vertebra in her Greater Western Sydney [GWS] Giants debut, a practice game against Adelaide Crows.

There was serious concern after the incident on 17 January, but welcome news soon emerged that Stack would make a full recovery.

She’s doing just that, having undergone intense rehabilitation over the past few weeks though she will miss the remainder of the AFLW season as she continues to focus on non-contact work.

A return to team training came as a huge boost this week, though, with the 34-year-old sharing her the milestone on social media today.

“So delighted to be back out training with the team this week,” she wrote on Instagram.

“It’s been a very challenging eight weeks but running around with the girls the last few sessions just reaffirmed everything I love about team sports. Very lucky to have such encouraging and empathetic teammates at GWS Giants. 

“And there is no better feeling than seeing my favourite little man giving me a big clap at the end of training.

“Week absolutely made.”

Stack has been open and honest to date, writing a regular column in The Irish Examiner, revealing the lengths she’s gone to to try and stage a comeback, and how she’s dealt with the fallout of the incident. (Crows player Ebony Marinoff was initially suspended for three games but was later cleared on appeal, with much noise around it on social media.)

The Rockchapel clubwoman revealed on 12 March that her chase to line out in the AFLW in 2021 had ended but her journey Down Under continues, in an Examiner column headlined, “It’s over, but I couldn’t have done any more. It just wasn’t meant to be.”

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“It was devastating but I’ve had to shift my mentality over the past week,” she wrote.

“The constant chase for something that was always running away from me forced me into accepting that reality by just living in the moment. The chase may have ended but the journey is still ongoing.

“For now, my primary aim is to join in with the girls for non-contact training over the next few weeks. I don’t know what will happen next year so I just want to finish up here on the pitch in some capacity.”

The Giants — also home to Stack’s fellow ladies football great Cora Staunton — face Carlton in their last game of the regular season on Sunday [6.10am Irish time] but their 2021campaign likely ends there, falling short of reaching the Finals Series.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

Murray Kinsella, Bernard Jackman and Gavan Casey field listeners’ questions about Ireland’s victory over England before turning their attention to the club game, and Super Rugby in the Pacific Islands, prospective law trials up north and, of course, this weekend’s Pro14 final between old rivals.

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Emma Duffy

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