Footballer’s incredible return from horrific injury
WHEN Jaiden Brown lay in a Brisbane hospital bed nursing a broken femur and contemplating how he might never walk properly again, a burgeoning football career seemed all but over.
After the car crash which landed him in hospital, the former Redlands United player shelved his football dreams to take up a mining job, which brought him back to Mackay for the first time since he was born.
But two years and many, many trips to the physio later, Brown is back to full fitness and ready to reprise his role as a key post in an NPL defence.
Magpies Crusaders confirmed the 22 year old's signing earlier this month.
For Brown, it was the culmination of a long and challenging, but rewarding, path back from the brink.
"When I had the car crash and broke my femur in five or six spots, I thought that was the end of any sort of career I wanted," Brown said.
"I've been through copious amounts of rehab.
"This year I've been able to run around again and it feels awesome - even with a rod in my leg.
"I told myself I would give it a crack again, and I was lucky enough to make the team and be able to play at the level I want."
Brown's last full season in the NPL culminated with Redlands' title-winning campaign in 2016. He only managed a handful of games for the stacked Cleveland outfit, but his quality was there for all to see.
He hopes to bring that same form to Mackay next season.
"There's still a bit of doubt about how I'll go … I'm pretty keen to prove some people wrong," Brown said.
"I know the coach, he's excellent, and the players are quality. We'll do well."