The return of sport this weekend has been long-awaited, moreso for Broadmeadow Magic midfielder Kobie Ferguson than most.
The Whitebridge 21-year-old will take the field in a trial match against Herald Women's Premier League rivals Warners Bay on Sunday for her first hit-out since snapping the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in her right leg in June last year while playing for South Wallsend.
"I'm always excited to get back out there and it's definitely something I've been looking forward to for a bit over a year now," Ferguson told the Newcastle Herald.
"I'm feeling pretty confident. I've been working hard with Erin [Wilson] at Urban Base Fitness and my Physio at Macquarie Physio, so I'm feeling pretty confident and pretty strong and I have no doubts."
Ferguson, a former Young Matilda, returned to play in Newcastle last year after three seasons with Manly in the Sydney competition and was proving key to the Wolves' championship claims before injury struck.
"As the season progressed last year I definitely was enjoying it," she said. "We were really getting into our rhythm. Then unfortunately I got injured and then everyone else started getting injured, so it was a bit of a rough back end of the season."
Ferguson was carrying the ball up field against New Lambton when she felt her knee go in a tackle. There were no doubts in her mind what damage had been done as she was stretchered from the field. The injury came three years rupturing the ACL in her left leg while playing for Manly.
"I knew straight away," Ferguson said. "How it happened was different but it was the same in the sense with how my knee felt and the sounds.
"I was obviously pretty gutted. I tend to try to keep a positive mindset. Obviously I was devastated but I wasn't as upset as last time because I knew what I was in for and I knew essentially I could come out the other side with my rehab.
"I definitely felt more prepared within a few hours of doing it. I thought, 'You know what, this is devastating but at the same time I can definitely do this again'."
The first ACL injury came in the winter after making her W-League debut for the Newcastle Jets with five appearances in the 2015-16 season.
Those who have coached Ferguson know she has the talent to again play at the next level but for now she is focused on having a strong season in Magic colours.
"I'm still young and after I came back from Manly last year I just really wanted to focus on enjoying my football again after doing my knee the first time because it has a really big impact on you," Ferguson said.
"I'm only 21, so I think if I begin to enjoy my football enough again and that I feel like I could be committed enough, I definitely wouldn't rule it out. It's something that I think I could still do."
Magic open their season when they host defending champions New Lambton at Magic Park on July 12. Two rounds of the WPL were played before the competition was suspended in March due to the coronavirus crisis but both of Broadmeadow's matches were postponed. The league resumes on July 12 and has been reduced from 21 rounds to 14.
Ferguson should prove key for Magic, along with her former Jets and Emerging Jets teammate Adriana Jones.
"It's only going to be a short season but, for me personally, the goal is just to get back out there, get some minutes in and really enjoy it like I used," she said.
"For the team, we're 100 per cent looking to make finals, and I definitely think we can do that.
"It will be good to play with AJ again. She's such a high-quality player. I feel like people will really lift just being on the park with her."