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Clare Hunt never doubted she would recover from a foot injury in time for the Olympics

News Corp AustraliaNCA NewsWire
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Clare Hunt’s composure on the football field was matched by her calmness that her hopes of playing at this year’s Olympic Games were never in doubt despite a foot injury she suffered in March.

The 25-year-old central defender missed the Matildas’ 2-0 win over Mexico last month due to the injury, which occurred while on duty for her French club side Paris Saint-Germain.

However, Hunt was always confident of being fit for Australia’s two games against China, who meet the Matildas on Friday night at Adelaide Oval and on Monday at Sydney’s Accor Stadium.

“I got diagnosed with a stress reaction, so it’s just prior to a stress fracture, and the rehab for that is four to six weeks, so I always had in my head that it would be a four-to-six-week injury and I just focused on doing everything I possibly could in that period.,” she said.

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“It was bang-on that time frame, so I knew that hopefully if everything went to plan, I would be able to come in to this camp and continue to prepare.”

Hunt said she had prepared well in France for the two matches against China.

“I had great preparation prior to leaving PSG, fully training, so the foot is feeling good,” she said.

Hunt, who had a breakthrough 2023 to leave no doubt she is a first-choice member of the Matildas’ back four, said her game continued to improve in France after making the move to PSG from Western Sydney Wanderers last September.

“It has been a crazy 12 to 18 months, but it’s also been pretty amazing to have the experiences that I’ve had,” the NSW country product said.

“When you’re a country kid and then you go straight to Paris, it’s a little bit of a culture shock, I must admit.

“I don’t even know what to think of it sometimes. I’m just living the dream and just here for the ride.

“I get to play with some of the best players in the world and train with some of the best players in the world, so it has definitely increased the tempo at which I play.

“It has challenged me to be faster in everything that I do, so it has been really, really tough but also really, really enjoyable.

“I would say I’ve improved a lot since being there … not allowing yourself to make too many errors because you can’t afford to when you’re playing against players who will capitalise on those errors.

“It’s just sharpening up technically, and also just the speed at which I move and which I play has increased a lot too.”

Originally published as Clare Hunt never doubted she would recover from a foot injury in time for the Olympics

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