The forgotten hero of the AFLW grand final, Chloe Scheer, and her long road back from injury
Posted July 03, 2019 08:00:41
When Adelaide Crows star Erin Phillips wrecked her knee during one of the biggest games in women‘s football, she received a standing ovation. But there was another star struck with the same injury who has quietly been on the road to recovery.
- Scheer injured her right knee in the second quarter of the AFLW grand final
- She required a knee reconstruction, her second in just three years
- The Adelaide Football Club has re-signed Scheer to a new two-year deal
Chloe Scheer had just taken a huge mark in the second quarter to set up another goal as the Adelaide Crows marched ruthlessly toward victory over Carlton in the 2019 AFLW grand final.
A minute later the 19-year-old went down in a heap during a contest for a loose ball and knew her right knee was gone, requiring her second reconstruction in three years.
“I knew when I felt the pain and the noise that you hear, yeah I knew, I knew,” she said of rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament.
But more injury drama was to come for the high-flying Crows, on what was a memorable day in the club’s history.
Nearing the end of the third quarter the league’s best player and Crows co-captain Erin Phillips also went down clutching her knee.
The next moments were touching, as Adelaide and Carlton players went to the fallen champion to pay tribute, before she was taken off the ground to a standing ovation from more than 50,000 fans at the Adelaide Oval.
What followed post game and in the days to come focused on the sporting tragedy of Phillips and whether she could recover from rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament, also for a second time.
There was barely a mention of Scheer.
‘I’m playing at the same level’
It hurt for the teenager who had burst onto the AFLW scene to rave reviews, before her football world came crashing down.
“I felt like shit to be honest, because you know, I’m playing at the same level,” she said.
“I kind of felt like someone might mention me here and there.”
Not that she bemoaned the attention that Phillips — the now two-time league best and fairest — received, especially that standing ovation on grand final day.
“She’s a champion of our game, so why wouldn’t they?” she said.
But getting better is her main focus for now.
“I don’t really care at the moment, I’m just trying to get back out and get my rehab done,” she said.
‘There’s always challenging moments’
The forward had an operation the week after the grand final win and, three months on, is set to start running within the next fortnight.
“There’s always challenging moments … I think it was a lot smoother than my first knee, so I’m pretty happy with that and I’ve just had great support as well to get me through it,” she said.
Adelaide has re-signed Scheer, who was the 37th pick in the 2018 draft, to a two-year deal and she wants to play out her career with a club she sees as her “family” — one that is providing plenty of support through her rehabilitation period.
“The girls have been keeping in touch with me and I see them out at NT Thunder trainings, so I’ve still been around the group, so it’s been good to keep in touch,” she said.
Scheer said she was a 50 per cent chance to be fit for round one of the next AFLW season early next year.
But as she looked back over a rollercoaster first season in the AFLW, she believed her potential could take a while to be fully realised.
“It was alright, I’m not at my potential yet and I don’t think I’ll see it next year either with my knee,” she said.
“It’ll just be another confidence thing, but as the seasons go on I think everyone will start seeing the way I actually play my footy.”