Perth Glory Youth defender Jack Iredale will miss the rest of the season after his third serious knee injury.
The 18-year-old will undergo knee surgery later this month. It will be third time he's gone under the knife on the same knee.
“I think I’ve had my fair share of bad luck with these injuries,” Iredale said.
“This time the surgeon will be using a newly developed technique that the top surgeons in Europe are using now, which will theoretically provide a stronger more stabilised knee, I’m hoping.”
One knee injury is devastating for players, but three is unthinkable, but Iredale said he has to just get on with re-hab and is confident he can get back to play.
“All three injuries have been the same, a complete rupture of my right anterior cruciate ligament,” he explained.
“But this time I have also done some damage to my lateral meniscus which means that’ll have to get taken out.”
As a 15-year-old Iredale injured his knee against Sydney FC youth, when he was at the Australian Institute of Sports in December 2012, and did it again in training in September 2013
The latest injury happened last month against the Newcastle Jets, playing for Glory Youth.
He thought the problem was behind him, and was even training with Glory's first team, until the latest tragedy occurred.
“I thought I was progressing well, and I felt like I was just getting back to my best and was lucky enough to train with the first team a couple of times which was really encouraging,” Iredale said.
“It’s definitely a massive kick in the teeth for me, but I can take great confidence out of the fact that I had missed two years of football and still managed to get myself into the youth squad and around the first team environment.”
Iredale was born in Scotland but moved to New Zealand at a very young age, and first started playing football when he was six.
He moved to Australia when he was 11, playing for lcoal clubs in Perth's northern suburbs.
He has had the backing of his parents, Paul and Fiona, and their sporting talents have rubbed off on him.
“My parents are my biggest support structure for me, always there when I need them and I’d say they feel my pain just as much as I do. I definitely wouldn’t be able to keep getting back up if I didn’t have them supporting me all the way through every time,” he said.
“Dad played cadet rugby for England when he was about my age and mum was a Judo Olympian for New Zealand at Sydney 2000, so they both know what it’s like to be high level athlete, and what it takes to overcome obstacles like this.”
His talent was recognized with selection in the Joeys squad in 2012, but his first knee injury put representing his country again on the back burner.
“It was a great to play for my country, but I got injured at the end of the year which put me out of the picture,” he explained.
“But my main focus was just getting back to playing football again; hopefully one day I’ll be able to pull on the Australia shirt again it’s a massive honour.”
Perth Glory Youth is equal on points with Melbourne City at the top of the Foxtel National Youth League.