Battling back for Futures Cup

Battling back for Futures Cup
With the opportunity arising for people to apply to be a Team Manager at Futures Cup 2020 (more info and apply HERE) we took a look back at the story of one of the athlete’s from 2019’s tournament.

Having suffered a serious knee injury in 2017, Wessex Leopards’ Emma Stewart endured a long and gruelling period of rehabilitation. Despite knowing she may not return to Futures Cup until 2020, she fought to return to hockey.

Featuring at Futures Cup for the first time in the 2017 U15s Girls' competition, injury ruled Emma out of 2018’s event and, not wanting to miss out again, had her sights firmly set on returning to the tournament in 2019 despite knowing it could yet be a further year until she was truly ready.

She said: “I was really looking forward to Futures Cup in 2018 because I’d been the year before and would be in the older group of my age category so I would be more comfortable. It was hard to miss it.

“When I picked up the injury, we didn’t really know what it was at first and I was quite hopeful that I’d only be out for a month or so. But then I got the news that I’d done my ACL and would miss the whole process. I knew that I didn’t have a chance, I just had to try to forget about it and focus on getting back to playing.

“Being out injured was really hard. I play a lot of sport so, especially at the beginning, when I was doing the small exercises and I could barely walk it made it really difficult. I play quite a lot of tennis, it used to be my main sport but after Futures Cup in 2017 it turned to hockey.”

Futures Cup 2019

Speaking on the penultimate day of the 2019 Futures Cup, Emma discussed what it means to be back at the tournament that made hockey her sport.

She said: “It’s still not back to normal, I’ve still got another half a year or so until I’m fully back to having a normal knee. I’m not going to re-injure myself unless something really bad happens again, but it’s not fully developed yet.

“It’s nice being back at Futures Cup, I know quite a few of my team and then I’ve gotten to know the other people which has been good. It’s weird being in the older age category, before everyone was older than me and it was quite scary because it was my first one, but I feel a lot more relaxed this time.

“I’ve focused on having fun this year and it’s helped me relax and just play my game which is always a benefit. The games have been okay for us so far, we lost one and we drew another, but I’ve had fun in the games and we’ve played well as a team.

Futures Cup 2019

“I think Futures Cup is so important. It’s such a good milestone and something to work towards and look forward to at the end of the year.

“I didn’t realise until I got here how good a level it is, this is the highest level of hockey I’ve played at. It’s nerve racking having so many spectators watching, it’s not something I’m used to but it’s good, the walkout especially makes you feel really special.

“It feels really serious and like a high-level event, which it is. You bond with the team so much more staying in the accommodation together, if you lose then you lose together and go back together. If you win then you can all celebrate together but you do everything as a team, which is really a good experience.”

You could be at Futures Cup 2020 as a Team Manager with applications for the role open until Sunday 8 December. For more information on what being a Team Manager entails and how you can apply, please click HERE.