Aimee's back after season battling pain
AIMEE McDermott will never forget the euphoria of playing in last year's drought-breaking A-grade premiership triumph.
She scored both goals as Hancock Brothers beat Swifts 2-1 to win its first A-grade women's grand final for 33 years.
The Ipswich Hockey Complex erupted with excitement.
Tears flowed as players like McDermott celebrated with her grandmother, Heather Scott, who played in the previous winning Hancocks side (1979).
Fast forward 12 months and McDermott is thrilled just to be playing in another Ipswich grand final.
Having missed much of the season with a fracture in her left-leg fibula (calf bone), the Hancocks' goal-scoring ace made a timely return in last weekend's preliminary final.
She scored Hancocks' first goal against Norths before captain Sara Rogers secured victory in extra time.
Preparing to tackle Swifts in Saturday afternoon's decider, McDermott revealed her relief at being able to play again.
"It's slightly better now than what it was at the beginning of the year,'' she said keen to help her side chase back-to-back titles.
"I'm fine to play on Saturday. I just haven't been given much game time.
"I'm so happy to be back."
However, speaking to McDermott, it's clear what anguish she's experienced.
"It was extremely frustrating because it just hurts when you run," McDermott, 30, said of her injury.
"It's just a lot of pressure in there.
"I've had stress fractures in my shins, but this is the first time I've had it in my fibula."
McDermott's troublesome injury started after she rolled her ankle playing in a fun match at the start of the season.
Her unstable ankle put pressure on her fibula, leading to problems which flared when she represented Ipswich at the state open titles.
After playing six matches for Hancocks, it became too painful to continue.
"I was in a boot for four weeks, then another cast for another four weeks,'' she said. "And complete rest for another four weeks after that.
"There were so many MRIs and CT scans.''
McDermott said last year's grand final victory would always be special after she started her junior career with Collegians.
"It was pretty amazing. I was pretty happy for the club as well,'' the Silkstone sportswoman said.
"This year we just hope it happens again.''