Two knee reconstructions and two seasons on the sidelines have given Amy Harrison plenty of down time – and time away from the beautiful game.  Suffering a serious knee injury in December 2015, Harrison underwent the gruelling rehabilitation regime associated with such an injury, only to endure the same consequences after an almost identical injury sustained to her opposite knee in January this year.

Instead of twiddling her thumbs – a favourite pastime of players recovering from serious injury – Amy has used extra time either side of her rehab to discover a new calling – one which earned her a scholarship through the PFA in July.

Alongside former player and Local FC founder Chad Gibson, Harrison was awarded the Craig Foster Scholarship for her consistent championing of the sport, through her work with Fox Sports and Optus.

Harrison became a familiar face on Fox’s E-League coverage as a FIFA 18 match commentator as Australian football entered the virtual world of eSports. Then, during the FIFA World Cup in Russia, Harrison earned a place as a guest on Optus’ coverage of the world’s biggest tournament. 

The PFA caught up with Amy to discuss her scholarship, rehab and move into media…

How did you become involved with Fox and Optus?

AH: I was asked to be involved with Fox Sports after my injury during the season and then Optus gig followed on from that. To be involved with Optus for the World Cup broadcast was an awesome experience, as it has been working with Fox Sports throughout the W-League, E-League and the Asian Cup.

What made you want to become involved in broadcast media?

AH: Well, to be completely honest it all came about after getting my second significant knee injury. I thought it would be a good opportunity to keep myself involved in the game and media has always been an interest of mine so I thought it would be the perfect time to explore that profession. From the get-go I really enjoyed everything about it and I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity by Fox Sports and Optus Sport.

What was a highlight of being involved?

AH: Mainly just seeing the difference between business life and athlete life, some very similar values especially working in a team environment. Also meeting some amazing people who I formed great friendships with and keep in contact with to this day. All in all, it was such a great experience.

What does it mean to be awarded the Craig Foster Scholarship? 

AH: It is such an honour to be awarded the Craig Foster Scholarship. To be recognised by the PFA for this special award is truly flattering. To be completely honest it was a massive surprise but to share this scholarship with Chad Gibson (LocalFC) is a great honour. Craig is such a renowned name in the media industry and is amazing at what he does. He is a great example and how he represents himself on and off the screens is second to none.

What will the Scholarship allow you to do, personally and professionally?

AH: This scholarship will allow to be explore personal development off the field and test out various avenues that I may be interested in doing. It will enable me to explore the well-being aspect of being an athlete as well as possibly studying something different.

Will it better support your playing career?

AH: Personally, I know if I am happy and keeping my mind active off the field I perform better and enjoy playing a lot more, so yes it will better support my playing career when I am able to play again.

Is there any one you would like to thank?

AH: Of course I would like to thank the PFA for their continued support for every single player. The amount of work they do is incredible and I always know they have my back with no matter what I am going through, whether its education off the field or getting support with an injury.

Murray Shaw, Tara Rushton and the team at Fox Sports for making me feel so comfortable from the moment I walked in the door and supporting me and believing in me. This has all evolved from you!

And finally Paul Meltz and the Optus Sport crew for also supporting me and having me a part of the World Cup broadcast.

Going through a second ACL reconstruction is very difficult but these people have made it a lot easier and I’m very appreciative of that.