Sally Shipard is hopeful of making a successful comeback for Canberra United after knee surgery. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
SHE'S SPENT a frustrating year writing about her peer's achievements, now Sally Shipard wants to write the next chapter in her own career.
Shipard is hell-bent on returning for Canberra United in the upcoming W-League season after undergoing a second operation on both knees last December.
The classy midfielder suffers from a degenerative condition, which resulted in an infuriating stop-start campaign for United last season.
She could only watch on helplessly as Canberra failed to make the finals after winning its maiden title undefeated in 2011-12.
The 25-year-old said she was ''starting to feel like a footballer again'' after starting running and ball-work in recent weeks.
While resigned to missing the opening games of the campaign, Shipard is hopeful of playing a meaningful role as Canberra looks for redemption under new coach Liesbeth Migchelsen.
Shipard is hopeful of returning to her best and reigniting her international career with the Matildas.
''I've been working in football media the last year and writing about other girls' experiences, I just want to play for myself as selfish as that sounds,'' she said.
''I just want to feel that natural high I've dearly missed.
''I've got an eight to 12-week program ahead of me, it'll mean not [perhaps] the first two games but hopefully beyond that. There's a long road ahead in terms of proving myself and getting the fitness base, but over the last couple of weeks I've reminded myself of what I actually do.''
Shipard said she was a victim of her own impatience after coming back too early from arthroscopic surgery before the previous W-League season.
''Last year I totally rushed it, I walked up that stupid mountain as a team-building activity so there won't be any of that,'' she said.
''I'll take it easy and be honest with myself, it's within my control at the moment and that's the way I want to keep it.''
Shipard believes United struggled with huge expectations last season after the first unbeaten campaign by any team in W-League history.
''I think we were a bit overwhelmed entering the season,'' Shipard said.
''For me personally it was pretty hard watching from the sideline, I felt pretty helpless in regards to my situation and my knees.
''Hopefully that's all in the past and I can look forward to November and our first games.''
Shipard is confident the signing of quality US players Stephanie Ochs and Lori Lindsey can help Canberra again climb the W-League summit.