Gold Coast Suns AFLW player Emma Pittman at Harrup Park yesterday. Picture: Tony Martin
Gold Coast Suns AFLW player Emma Pittman at Harrup Park yesterday. Picture: Tony Martin

Coaching caper suits sidelined Sun just fine

INJURED Gold Coast Suns midfielder Emma Pittman says she never considered life after football until starting her second stint in rehab.

But the Mackay product has seen the silver lining during her time on the sidelines and the fire to return to the field as a better player and leader burns brighter than ever.

Pittman originally injured her AsCL in early 2019 and was nearing the end of her recovery period when she reaggravated the injury at training in January.

The setback has kept Pittman off the field during the Suns’ debut AFLW season, but the 27 year old has found a different way to stay involved at the club.

“(Getting back) on field would be the priority number one, but the fact the Suns have accommodated me by getting my nose in as an assistant midfield coach has been fantastic,” Pittman said.

Pittman has shadowed midfield coach Andrew Swallow this season and acted as “the messenger” between the coaching staff and playing group.

“Before this injury I’d never really had any injuries prior and that goes back to my soccer days,” she said.

“ I’d never really thought about life after playing … but being on this side of the fence, I’m definitely starting to look into it more and it being an option for me after my playing days are over.

“I’m definitely being converted more each day.”

Pittman said the timing of her reinjury actually helped in her mental approach to recovery, because there was no pressure to get back in time to play.

“If I was running out for my first game and I did it then I would have been in a worse place I think, but because I wasn’t back 100 per cent … I handled it pretty well, I would like to think,” she said.

As a member of both the playing group and coaching staff, Pittman is in a unique position to take stock of the Suns’ start to AFLW life.

“I’m just really proud of the girls, how they’ve pulled themselves together,” she said.

“Sixteen new faces to AFLW and they haven’t missed a beat in their preparation.

“It’s unfortunate we haven’t gotten ourselves over the line in the last couple of games but hopefully we can get a win under the belt (tonight).”