Three strikes and not out – Perth Glory Youth’s Jack Iredale’s fight against knee injury.

Perth Glory youth player and former young Socceroo, Jack Iredale, 19, has had his professional football career heavily disrupted before it has even started with three major knee injuries spanning from 2012 to 2015.

Iredale’s most recent ACL injury came in January this year playing for the Perth Glory Youth Team, where he was stretchered off after fifteen minutes with his third major knee injury in three years.

His first knee injury came in 2012, which resulted in surgery and eight months on the sideline, before returning to WA to train with Perth Glory’s senior squad and devastatingly injuring his knee again shortly after. Which resulted in most of 2013 and 2014 plagued by injury before even turning eighteen.

“it’s difficult mentally, especially after three [knee injuries].” Said Iredale.

Despite these possible career ending injuries, Iredale is currently undergoing rehab twice a week with Helix sports performance in the hope of one day being able to return to the high level of football he was previously playing.

Born in Scotland, Iredale began playing football at the age of six in New Zealand before moving over to Australia and joined the likes of Quinns FC, ECU Joondalup, Stirling Lions and the National Training Centre (NTC).

At the age of 15, Iredale was offered a scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra and made the bold decision to leave his family and friends in Perth, in order to experience a full time professional environment.

Iredale had full access to state of the art facilities and training in Canberra, with former Socceroo Tony Vidmar being the head coach of the squad.

The Ocean Reef high school graduate broke into the young Socceroos for the first time in Laos in 2012, and from there reached new peaks and cemented his position into the started 11.

“I was the new kid and not really expecting to play much.”

His highlight moment came at the start of the U16 Asian cup against powerhouse’s Japan. Iredale came on in the 30th minute after an injury to one of his team mates, and miraculously went on to score the equaliser later in the game which finished 1-1.

“It’s an unreal experience being able to represent your country. Even as a sixteen year old.

“Was lucky enough to have the captains armband a couple times as well which was even more ridiculous.” Said Iredale.

It capped off a stellar 2012 year for Iredale and was beginning to show progress as a future senior Socceroo before being struck with injury.

“It was a whirlwind year, because that was the year that i got the AIS scholarship and then all of a sudden i was in the Joeys, it was an awesome experience for me.

“As cliche as it sounds i don’t want to do anything else i want to play football for the rest of my life.” Said Iredale

Only time would tell whether Jack Iredale’s story is one of what could have been, or a path to success despite his recent knock backs.

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About Erick Lopez

18 year old sports journalism student and Edith Cowan University. Passionate football player and fan from Perth, Australia.
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