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Alonso: Teegarden return like welcoming home a family member

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It felt like a family reunion for manager Fran Alonso, as he watched Sarah Teegarden make her return to play after a year on the sidelines.

Praising her commitment to her rehab and her steely strength of character, the manager was delighted to welcome her back into the matchday fold, commending her performance so highly saying it was like she had never been away.

“It’s one of the worst injuries you can have in football and can take you longer to come back from, but in this case with this Covid nightmare that we all have she only missed seven games, so that’s the only slight positive. Obviously she worked very hard and managed to get herself fit and is training very, very well and you can see that it looks like she never left.

“I’m delighted for her and I’m delighted for the team. Everyone was buzzing, you can see that it’s like a family member has just come back from a tough injury. We all pushed her to get the ball in the back of the net and we were as excited as she was. It was an emotional moment and although it didn’t mean anything for the result or the league, it meant a lot for her to score in her comeback - it was an amazing moment,” he said.

Teegarden returned to action just over twelve months after her ACL injury in League Cup action away to Spartans last year, and the message to the midfielder ahead of taking to the pitch in their friendly at Forfar was simple. 

Alonso said: “I just told her to enjoy her football. I talked to her on Friday and I asked what she thought about playing twenty minutes, and I don’t think she expected it at first, but I told her, ‘you tell me’. Then the next day she said she felt good.”

And he continued to praise both her mental attitude and bravery in her return as he and the team look forward to seeing her back in competitive action. 

“In medical terms she is totally clear, the only issue was if she was psychologically ready and she was. She’s been in all our meetings and knows how we play so she knew exactly what we expected of her in terms of tactics, so she just had to go out and enjoy it and I think she really did, we all did for her.

“Tee’s a very good professional and has showed up everyday for training. It’s very tough mentally to get an injury like that to take you away from what you love, and some players never come back quite at the same level, and even though it’s still early days it looks like she never left. She feels totally comfortable playing one or two touch, winning tackles and 50/50s - she wasn’t reluctant to go into those and won a lot of duels so that says a lot about her, and Cat (Sloan) and the rehab team that has helped.

"It's almost like a brand new signing for us, so I'm delighted to see her doing what she loves and everyone else in the team is too,” he said. 


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