Greater Western Sydney head coach Alan McConnell has hailed the impression Bríd Stack has made on the AFLW squad and for showing why she was a “champion”, as a player and personality, within the squad prior to suffering a broken neck on Sunday, and in her reaction to the devastating blow.
Stack is in Australia with her husband and 14-month old son having accepted the challenge of taking on Aussie rules football and had shown promising form until hitting the ground in agony following a challenge by Ebony Marinoff in a pre-season game against Adelaide.
The 34-year-old 11-time All-Ireland winner with Cork suffered a fracture to the C7 vertebra but the fracture was stable and there was no nerve damage, meaning she could leave hospital the next day with just a neck brace.
She will remain with the Giants to work on her recovery and McConnell made his admiration for the ladies’ football legend obvious.
“Bríd Stack showed not only why she’s been a champion Gaelic player but why she was going to be a very good player for us,” said McConnell of her performance in her first-ever game of Aussie rules.
“Our group is very supportive and she’s required that over the last few days. We’re blessed the injury is not more significant than was first mooted. That said, she’s a broken neck, C7. It probably mucks up all the plans we had for her and the adventure that she brought herself and her family on and that’s pretty upsetting.
“She’s demonstrated why she’s a champion. She did that both before the injury and since the injury.
“I think her resilience and her competitiveness have come to the fore and I’m very grateful that she’s made this effort. Hopefully we can give her the ride of a lifetime over the next three months and we’ll see what happens.”