One of New Zealand's top football prospects has spoken out about a rollercoaster 18 months that's seen her recover from a heartbreaking injury to sign with famous English club Liverpool.
Football Ferns defender Meikayla Moore was a late withdrawal from last year's World Cup, but she's now back playing and ready to make her mark on the world stage.
Moore says she's had to regularly pinch herself, since joining the Merseyside glamour club.
"It is a dream come true," Moore tells Newshub. "I think, if you were to tell young Meikayla when she was 10 that she could sign for a massive club like Liverpool… she would be pretty excited."
Those excitement levels are in stark contrast to the emotions of June 2019, when Moore's World Cup dream was dashed, after she ruptured her Achilles tendon in training just two days before the Ferns' opening game.
The injury shook the entire Football Ferns squad, including coach Tom Sermanni.
"I've seen a lot of injuries and from my perspective, this one hit me the hardest," Sermanni admits. "It was a real chance for her to shine on the world stage."
Moore now has to wait until next year's delayed Tokyo Olympics for that opportunity.
And after the disappointment of missing out on 2015 World Cup action and the pain of last year, it's no surprise that Moore's got her sights set on a home World Cup in 2023.
"Having not being able to step foot on the pitch at a senior women's World Cup, it's third time lucky I'm hoping... touch wood," Moore says.
The 24-year old will be crucial to the Ferns' chances of success over the coming years.
"She is a vital part of the team on the field and a critical part off the field," Sermanni adds. "She's one of our key best young up-and-coming players."
For now, Moore's focus is on impressing at Liverpool.
"I'm just looking forward to really cementing myself as a player and showing what I'm capable of," says Moore.
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