The Journey - Alisha Molesworth
Getting to represent the 2021 Victoria Country U17s side was certainly a special moment for Alisha Molesworth, but this moment is made sweeter when you consider what she had to contend with before getting to don the blue-V.
Beginning in late 2019, Alisha missed nine months of football due to a relatively unknown sickness that caused her to have fits.
However, despite the unknown cause of it and the fact that it ruled her out from playing, she “never” thought about quitting football. Instead, this exciting young prospect kept her eyes focused on returning to football, where they remained for over 250 days before she recovered from the illness.
And so, this inspirational story of resilience begins; one which saw an exciting prospect remain strong and manage to come out the other side even brighter.
"All I thought about was to never give up and to keep doing what I love. And that was football."
Coming off a successful two years of football, which saw her claim back-to-back premierships with Newborough, Alisha’s footballing journey was beginning to look bright.
Then, all of a sudden it came to a screeching halt.
“It was during Power preseason actually, we were doing running and after like three sprints I just fell to the ground and yeah, that’s how it started.”
“I wasn’t too bad to start with, but it got worse as I kept having them.”
Being young and staring down what was beginning to look like a promising football journey, only to have it seemingly ripped away by a “still a bit unknown” illness; would understandably be devasting to most.
But for Alisha Molesworth, she looked towards staying fit in the hope that she would be ready when the time finally came to return to the footy field.
“I tried to keep training, but it happened for a second time at another Power preseason training session.”
“So, I got told I wasn’t allowed to do any running because we weren’t sure on what was causing it, so I still did skills but not pushing myself to where I could’ve had another one.”
Since the first incident occurred in November 2019; Alisha’s football was dealt a further blow just months later as the pandemic resulted in the NAB League’s suspension for 2020.
However, during the lockdown, Alisha was busy staying fit and healthy, and although she could not do much running she focused more on improving skills.
A major problem for most during that time was finding and keeping motivation, but Alisha was fuelled by her ambitions of returning to footy in the best shape possible.
“It was mainly self-motivation since we were in lockdown because we had no sport. But coaches, friends and family all helped me stay motivated as well.”
Then, while she began to recover and as the restrictions began to ease, she started doing more work as the date of her return edged closer.
“I was at the footy oval kicking goals, kicking the footy friends as well keeping my skills up and my fitness.”
After nine months of waiting, working hard to stay fit and staying strong mentally, she finally was cleared to play in July 2020.
“I missed out on three rounds of Power, and I got the all-clear before the fourth round but sadly COVID hit so I was lucky enough to play one game of local football last year."
“I played the first round of our local football on the 20th of July which was pretty much straight away.”
Even though she missed out on playing NAB League during 2020, she “was so happy to be back” playing football that she didn’t seem to mind too much.
Fast-forward to 2021, and Alisha has certainly proved that all the hard work she put in during lockdown and to battle the illness was more than worthwhile.
After missing nine months of footy, Alisha went on to play eight matches during the 2021 NAB League Girls season where she averaged eight disposals and five tackles a match for the Gippsland Power.
“Because I spent so much time working on my ball skills and to stay fit, it’s helped me in the game.”
She has certainly shown how strong of a character she is to be able to remain motivated and determined despite the pressures of the illness and the lockdown.
Not only did she remain strong, but she also made a stellar return to football—one which has kick-started her extremely exciting football journey.
We can definitely learn some things from this promising prospect; and for those who are sidelined with injury or illness … “My advice would be to never give up what you love doing”, which is exactly what Alisha Molesworth did.
Feel free to share, and don't forget to Like and Subscribe for more on Women's Footy!
Article #186, The Journey Article #2
Minutes with Moose would like to thank all of our ambassadors.
None of these photographs is owned by MWM; all images have been supplied by the player and were personally took.