Australian Jillaroo Allana Ferguson will shift her focus from on-field to off-field commitments, after a tough run combatting four ACL reconstructions that forced her into an early retirement.
The ten-year battle with both knees come to an end in November after tearing her right ACL for its third and final time whilst changing direction at training.
“The surgeon told me if I snap that ACL graft again then they wouldn’t be able to fix it because there is no bone left for it to screw into,” she said.
“Knowing that, was the reason that it was so devastating straight away because as soon as I hit the deck I knew everything was over so it was really emotional for me.”
Despite her ambitions of being an elite rugby league player being cut short, an optimistic Ferguson told NRL.com that her passion for the sport never ceased and she is fortunate there are other avenues in the media and coaching.
“I still want to be involved in the game, rugby league has been a passion of mine since I was five,” she said.
“I’m very fortunate to work with Channel 9 this season on The Sunday Footy Show every week, which is really exciting and I’m also going to be doing some sideline commentary with for the Intrust Super Premiership.
“I want to get involved in the women’s game and help push that in the right direction. Having a female perspective on the female game, which I think is so important.
“I love coaching. It was actually an outlet that really helped me with my previous knee reconstruction.
“It was a way of giving back to the sport and at the same time there was a selfish aspect as well because I love the game so much and just wanted to be involved.
“It is a goal that I’ve got written down, it’s something I’m passionate about and want to get into in the future.”
In 2015 the playmaker got her first stint at representative football when she was selected in the NSW Origin side and in the following year she went on the make her Jillaroos debut at the Auckland Nines.
Throughout her experience at various levels of the code, the 25-year-old said her most treasured memories were the ones with her teammates and she will miss that camaraderie.
“Easy question, just being a part of the team. You can’t emulate it, that why I love team sport and why I’ve loved footy my whole life. You can’t get that anywhere else,” she said.
With the development of the women’s game over the last few years and the recent announcement of a women’s NRL competition, Ferguson is thrilled that opportunities are finally arising but strongly believes there is still a long way to go.
“I love that the women’s game and its opportunities are growing,” she said.
“I feel nothing but excited for the women that are playing now and also the women that get to watch.
“The NRL competition that they are creating at the end of the year is amazing, but I think it can be more and I hope that it will be more because the women definitely deserve every accolade.
“Every opportunity that has come up I think the women have taken it on with two hands and have given nothing but their best.
“It’s exciting to see where the women’s game has got to and I hope to continue to see the growth, so that it’s on par with the men’s game as it deserves to be.”