After making a remarkable recovery from serious injury to sign with one of the biggest football clubs in the world, former Avonside Girl and current Football Ferns defender Meikayla Moore has a special motivation to play at the 2023 World Cup.

Meikayla Moore is lying motionless on the turf on a training ground in the northwest of France. She’s not sure what she’s done but knows it’s serious, and tears start streaming down her face.

The Football Ferns centre-half was on the eve of making her debut in the FIFA Women’s World Cup against the European champions Netherlands in Le Havre when her dream was shattered.

“I thought ‘Gregors’ [Sarah Gregorius] behind me had kicked me but she was miles away,” she says now, with a laugh. “I remember lying on the ground. I wasn’t in pain. I was just crying. I wasn’t sure why, but I knew it wasn’t good.”

The team doctor, Alyse Cameron, quickly came to her side and asked Moore to push her foot into her hand.

“I couldn’t put any pressure on her hand,” says Moore. “Alyse knew in that moment that I’d ruptured my Achilles.”

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