'Giving up is not an option' - Linfield striker Smyth

Ali Smyth
Smyth played twice in Northern Ireland World Cup qualifying campaign, including against European Champions and World Cup finalists the Netherlands

Linfield Ladies' Ali Smyth says that she's determined to get back on the pitch as she continues to recover from the injury that threatened her career.

The striker has been out of action since she suffered a double leg break and a cruciate injury last July against Sion Swifts.

"It was a pretty bad injury and really unfortunate," said Smyth.

Despite undergoing more surgery last week, the NI international is aiming to be back for the end of the season.

"It's been a struggle but I've been keeping around the club which has helped a lot," she added.

"I was told that I would be out of action for a year to a year and a half, and that I may not even be able to play again, but I've never even considered that.

Ali Smyth celebrates scoring
Smyth had scored seven goals in six league appearances in 2018 before her injury

"If I make it back by the end of this season then I've definitely achieved my goals but even if I don't there's always next season.

"I'm 30 years of age now and to be honest if my injury had happened when I was younger I don't think I would have had the same hunger to make it back onto the pitch.

"The girls at Linfield are my motivation, missing the feeling of being in the changing room and stepping out on that pitch as a team every Wednesday night with the girls is my drive to get back out there."

Injury has given me a new perspective

Smyth had been an integral part of Linfield's title challenge last season prior to her injury, rejoining the club in 2017 after spells with Crusaders Strikers and Ballymena United All Stars.

"It's been frustrating and difficult at times and I've never spent this long on the sidelines before.

"I'm still there to encourage and support the girls which keeps me happy and positive about the situation.

"It's given me a new perspective on football. I'm doing a bit of coaching and it has been interesting watching the games and seeing how they play out from the stands.

"But even so it can be frustrating being on the sidelines and I'm determined to be back on the pitch soon."