Derby County Ladies Football Club

Two Years of Injury Hell: Kirsty Allen Ready to Resume Career

The 14th of January probably means nothing to most people unless you have a birthday or one of your children is born on that day but to Kirsty Allen it meant the second coming of her football career and a day she will look back on with some fondness.

Despite the result, a 3-1 defeat in the FA Cup, it was a bittersweet moment for the former Notts County Ladies star as she was named on the bench for the match with Brighouse Town Ladies and despite being an unused substitute, the feel of being in a matchday squad was almost something she had forgotten about.

Kirsty said “Though it was a disappointing game, just to be a part of the team again was like my debut all over again. It’s been an awfully long time to be out of the game and it’s been tough both physically and mentally to stay focused and put aside the demons of my injury.”

That injury occurred way back in September 2015 when she was on the books of the now defunct Notts County Ladies playing against Sheffield in the WSL. A torn ACL meant she was likely to be out in normal circumstances for 9-18 months but a series of setbacks has meant it is now nearly two and a half years since her injury. 

Kirsty said “I went back into football on consultant advice from burton hospital and this caused me to tear my LCL and meniscus also and a “segond” fracture to my tibia. Eventually it I took me 13 months for correct ACL surgery at Derby Hospital which I had in October 2016 and then another 13 months so far recovering from that.

“Usual ACL recovery is 9 months however, I had to have a cyclops lesion removed that grew onto my new cruciate ligament in late august of this year. Thankfully, the worst is over, my surgeries are over, my range of motion and strength is back.”

Having never experienced an injury of this kind before, Kirsty revealed that the support she got from her former club was disappointing and that there was no option to go through the club for medical treatment but has stuck to the plans of the surgeons and physio, whilst also acknowledging the hard work she put in herself.

I never had the level of support or treatment i have had at Derby since joining that I should have got at Notts County, which is surprising as a WSL club, i felt very isolated. 

“I knew if i followed my surgeons and physio advice and worked very hard that I’d return to previous levels. Ive seen many players suffer this injury and I had no doubts that it will ever stop my career If i worked hard enough and was patient enough .

“I’ve done physio every day since October 16 and hundreds of hours in the gym. Physically I am stronger now than i have ever been both upper body and lower body.”

Having received the go ahead to resume match action before Christmas, Kirsty is keen to build up her match fitness as quickly as possible and help the Ewe Rams on the pitch. This Sunday see’s another opportunity for her to get back onto the pitch in the WPL Cup against Brighouse Town Ladies again.

“Hopefully I can put this nasty injury behind me and help Derby County Ladies on the pitch in all competitions, to get my assists and goals tally to the highest levels in the WPL like they once were before my move to Notts County and also to be part of the WSL again with Derby County. 

I’ve received great physio advice, good treatment and gym facilities to aid my recovery. As well as this, the Manager JB has been fantastic with my recovery and there has been no pressure whatsoever to force a return too early.

“Also my teammates have been amazing in supporting me psychologically as a few players are going through the same injury. The team spirit in this team is brilliant and I feel like very much at home and just want to get on the pitch now and repay their faith.”

Kirsty will be in the matchday squad for Sunday’s trip to Brighouse Town Ladies in the FA WPL Cup. Kick-off is 2pm at The Yorkshire Payments Stadium. Postcode for the match is HD6 2PL.