MITCH CHATS TO HEMEL LADIES STRIKER BIANCA HEDGECOCK - INJURIES, OPERATIONS AND WINNING THE DOUBLE
As well as all the comings and goings with the Men’s first team, the new 3G pitch installation and the current Covid19 situation, it almost slipped under the radar that the ladies team are back in training in preparation for the new season, whenever that may be.
One important player who won’t be attending training is long serving striker, Bianca Hedgecock or “B” to her teammates and friends. I caught up with B up at the football club, when she popped in to watch Watford play on the TV after the restrictions were lifted and I noted that she was still heavily strapped up and using crutches which she had hoped to have discarded by now after a recent knee operation.
She was happy to chat so I took the opportunity to get the “latest” on the injury and the lowdown her career at HHTLFC.
Mitch: Hi B, I was a bit surprised to see you on crutches, I thought you’d be on the mend by now, what’s going on with the injury?
Bianca: Well, it’s a bit of a long story but the gist of it is that I ruptured my Patella Tendon whilst playing out Northwood way. I had planted my foot to shoot but as I did the Tendon ruptured, though I didn’t know it at the time. I was taken to hospital where is was misdiagnosed and it was a further three months before they realised just what had happened. I had an operation on 2nd March and was on the mend when it ruptured again, just two weeks ago.
Mitch: That all sounds pretty painful, what did you have done this time to, hopefully put it right?
B: Well, not for the squeamish this, but they have taken two of my hamstring tendons and drilled into my tibia and patella (kneecap), threaded the tendons through, pulled it all down and drilled it in with anchor locks. Quite an operation but I am determined to get back to playing again, although it could take 9 to 12 months according to my surgeon. I just need to focus on my rehab now and do everything to get myself fit and healthy again. I’m lucky in some respects that my partner is a qualified physio, so I know I’m in good hands!
M: You seem to have a very positive attitude, it’s rare to see you without a smile on your face, which is great to see but there must have been a few dark times throughout all of this?
B: Yeah, definitely, it hasn’t been easy but life doesn’t stop because I have an injury. I haven’t worked since December 8th, the day it happened so it’s tough keeping positive but I am lucky to have a great support system and a partner who goes above and beyond to help me.
M: For anybody who don’t know you, how long have you been at Hemel now and what are the highlights of your time with the club?
B: I’ve been at Hemel for near on 10 years now, I play as a striker and during my time here we have won the league three times (I think) and did the double last year. I couldn’t tell you how many games I have played in that time but it’s quite a few. I had a double knee op two years ago but came back to play the entire double winning season, winning most improved player award at the end of the campaign and I was 5th highest goal scorer in the league. That was definitely the highlight of my career and we were on course to win the league again before the lockdown.
M: Are you a good watcher of games? I’m sure it must be very frustrating being stuck pitchside when you desperately want to be involved.
B: Yeah it is frustrating but I love being part of the team so I always take a positive encouragement role at games but I really miss being out there with the girls.
M: Have you retained most of the squad for the coming season, whenever it may start?
B: Yes, we have retained all of last year’s squad and we are looking to bring more players in to provide cover. We will be going all out to win the league again which we were well on course to do before lockdown.
M: Well cheers B, it’s been great talking to you and I’m sure everyone associated with the club wishes you all the best in your recovery and rehabilitation. I’m sure your positive outlook will help towards your ultimate goal of playing again, if anyone can do it you can! Let’s hope both West Ham and Watford can avoid relegation this season too. Good luck mate and keep smiling!
B: Cheers Mitch, it’s been a pleasure, it’ll be a long ol’ road but I’ll get there, I am determined to pull on that Hemel shirt again as soon as I possibly can.
Bianca is pictured below with her teamates after their superb Double winning season
B is second from the right in the back row.