Shipard on the lip of return
Canberra United midfielder Sally Shipard will sport a fake moustache throughout November. Photo: Jay Cronan
A moustache-bearing Sally Shipard is set to return to the Canberra United line-up to play her first match in more than five months on Saturday following off-season knee surgery.
The 25-year-old, who is raising money for ''Movember'', trained with her teammates for the first time on Monday and passed a fitness test on Wednesday night to confirm she was available to make her return.
Coach Jitka Klimkova was expected to name Shipard on Friday night in the team of 15 to take on Adelaide United at McKellar on Saturday.
''She had a pretty hard training and she looks ready to go,'' Klimkova said, adding she was likely to use her star midfielder as a substitute in her first game back.
''We have to be really careful - it would be her first game after a long, long time, after a lot of months, so I think more smarter will be that she'll play just a few minutes during that first game.
''We will be smart and keep putting her on the field step by step.''
Shipard is ''beside herself'' with excitement at the prospect of returning to the field, having already delayed her return by two weeks after her rehabilitation took longer than hoped.
''I feel like a little kid,'' she said.
Her last game was on May 31 with Bayer Leverkusen in the German Bundesliga.
''The break, to be honest, was very well received, [but I'm] very much raring to go now.''
Fans should have no trouble spotting the midfielder, who will be sporting a different moustache for each day of Movember.
It's the second year she has been supporting the month-long campaign to raise awareness and money for men's health.
While men are encouraged to grow their moustache for the month of November, Shipard's take is to have someone draw on a different moustache each day.
It's an often ''awkward'' campaign as she goes about her day-to-day business, with Shipard last year discovering the advantages of some moustache designs over others.
''I like the really thick ones - the skinny ones are a little too dainty for me and sometimes unrecognisable,'' she said.
''Last year I had … this really sharp, pointy moustache which sort of drew from my nostrils and then straight up almost to my eyeballs, so I had like two ticks on my face.
''I attended a function all day and no one at my table brought it up, and I had to leave a bit earlier and the only reason they didn't bring it up was because they thought it was a tattoo.
''A face tattoo, oh my gosh, I still get embarrassed thinking about it.''
It only took a few hours following her first moustache this Movember, for some more awkward moments to arise.
Shipard's mo was mistaken for a birthmark by a shop assistant and the disguise of a ''dodgy character'' by an Australian Federal Police officer.
Shipard is encouraging people to join her in Movember by wearing their own moustache at today's game as she aims to raise $10,000 for men's health.