Ansell makes successful return to gameplay

Nick Ansell amassed his first 60 minutes of competitive football on Thursday evening in the Reds’ pre-season friendly against Adelaide Cobras.

On a cold and very wet evening at Weigall Oval, Ansell lined-up for his first match since suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon in December last year, playing 60 minutes in United’s 2-0 win.

The injury saw Ansell out for the reminder of the 2021/22 season, however the progression he has made since will see him in contention for the start of the upcoming 2022/23 campaign.

“I felt really good being back out there on the park and I think we all put in a good shift tonight,” Ansell said post-game.

“I’ve been working really hard to get back to full-fitness and back imbedded with the squad.

“Everything has gone really well since the Achilles injury and it was good to get a run out there.

“When you suffer an injury like that, you put in so much work to overcome it and get back doing what you love.

“Tonight was important but I know I have to keep working hard in training to make sure I’m at 100 per cent during the season.”

Ansell’s Head Coach, Veart, echoed the defender’s sentiments, saying: “Nick’s done very well to get back to where he is at the moment.

“It was wet and cold tonight, and we were up against an opposition that didn’t let us have it easy, so it was a good test for him especially.

“I thought Nick did well in the game and I’m sure he’s happy to have his first 60 minutes under his belt after such a long time away from competitive games.

“It might just be a friendly, but it ticks a box for him physically and mentally that he can go out and play again and have the energy and quality that he had before his injury.”