Maidenhead United’s Anne-Marie Pejcic showing maturity after latest injury setback


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Anne-Marie Pejcic has been through a lot in her fledgling football career so far, so she will take the disappointment of missing out on playing in Maidenhead United Women’s annual ‘Women & Girls Day’ this Sunday in her stride.

Anne-Marie is one of eleven teenagers to feature for Ed Jackson-Sankey’s side in the FA Women’s National League this season, albeit she has been reduced to a watching brief ever since sustaining a cruel injury on debut for the Magpies in November. 

She explains: “I’ve ruptured my ACL, so it’s just rehab for the time being in order to get myself ready for surgery.  The injury happened in the St Austell away game.  It was a bit of a late challenge.  It’s frustrating to not be able to be out there with the girls and help but I’m focusing on every positive I can, celebrating the mini-milestones on my recovery journey. The recovery time is long and it’s going to be difficult, but in the grand scheme of things I’ve got many years left to play football so for now I’ll just be the team’s number one fan and look forward to putting on the shirt again.”

Anne-Marie – who has Serbian and Sierra Leonean parents – describes herself as “a forward-thinking player” who “loves to run” and adds “I’m a very passionate player who leaves everything on the pitch”.

She is a student at JMA in Reading and formerly played with AFT Reading and Actonians, who play at tier 4 in the FA Women’s National League like the Magpies.  It was whilst playing for the West London club that Anne-Marie suffered another unfortunate and scary blow which almost put her playing career to an end and certainly gives the youngster some context as she maturely battles back from her latest set-back.

She explains: “I was playing an FA Cup game. I came on around the 60/70 minutes mark and I instantly felt out of breath and tired but I just assumed that it was because of the level of opponents.  Around the 80 minute mark I collapsed.  I then had to take a couple months out of football. When I went back to football I joined the reserves.  Football was very difficult for me and the changes in my life due to my illness were very difficult.  I struggled mentally with it and was set on not waiting to play football anymore.  But my teammates and coaches really looked after me.  They made it so I felt safe whilst playing and I felt that I owed it to them to at least finish the season.  They became my family and without them there’s no chance I would still be playing football today, so I’m forever grateful to them.”

As she is every game, home or away, Anne-Marie will be on the side lines supporting the team this Sunday 26th March as United take on eight-time Women’s FA Cup winners Southampton Women’s FC.  The York Road turnstiles will open at 11:30am for the 2pm kick off, with the club shop and York Road’s Stripes bar open.  Admission is FREE for all spectators and there will be plenty of events going on to keep the family entertained, with face painting, football taster sessions, crossbar challenges, prize draws and a meet-and-greet with the players all planned.  The Magpies will also be producing a bumper match day programme as a souvenir of the day, available at the York Road turnstiles for a minimum cash donation of £2.

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