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McKechnie delighted to be back

30 January 2020

Long-time Red Annabel McKechnie recorded her 171st appearance for Nottingham Forest on Sunday afternoon as she made her first appearance for the first team time since 2017.

McKechnie returned to the club during the summer and currently sits as the fourth highest appearance holder for The Reds she describes how it felt to return to the team.

She said: “It felt great to get into the first team squad again. 

“I've been working hard in training and in the games, I've been playing for the reserves so it's great to be given the opportunity. 

“Unfortunately, we didn't come out with the result we wanted on Sunday so I'm sure we will we be working on what didn't quite go right for us in training this week.”

The forward took a break from the field as she brought her first child into the world and she explains how it has been returning to football.

“I've been training with the first team since the start of the season and I'm gradually getting back to levels I was at before my break,” McKechnie said.

“A lot has changed since I left the club to have Ezra but all for the good having the backing behind us now from men's team has made a huge difference and the whole set up is just great now and really professional.”

Since re-signing as a Red during pre-season McKechnie has been playing with the Forest reserve side to regain her match fitness and she explains how playing with the team has given her a confident boost.

She said: “It’s been great playing for the reserves for my comeback. 

“The reserve team is really strong this season and it just shows the strength in depth within the squads at the club. 

“Gareth and Aston (reserve team coaches) have been great, always expecting and pushing high standards from me each week and plenty of goals,” McKechnie light-heartedly added.

“But they gave my confidence a real boost and have been always pushing me on trying to get me back into the first team set up.”

McKechnie was introduced as a 69th minute substitution on Sunday afternoon and she came close to netting her 40th goal for the club as she hit the post with her first touch of the game. She then went on to win the penalty for The Reds which lead to them halving the goal scoring deficit.

Speaking on her impact, she said: “It was great to get on from the bench on Sunday at 2-0 down.

“I just came into the game with my usual determination and passion and just tried to come on and make an impact. 

“We didn't manage to quite make the comeback but I almost scored and won us a penalty so that was positive for my first game back so without a doubt I will keep training hard and pushing on to try get a regular first team spot.

“Hopefully if I can get back in, and I can carry on scoring goals like I have been in the reserve team.”

Several faces were familiar to McKechnie as she was reunited with former teammates when she re-joined the club in the summer and she explains how this made her transition back into footballer easier.

She said: “Before pre-season I was unsure if I wanted to come back and felt like because I hadn't played in so long I was unsure if I could still play.

“I didn't want to come back into the trials and look terrible but Lyndsey Harkin particularly pushed me back towards giving it another go.

“She was reassuring me all the time so it's been great to have some of my old teamies still here who knew me before and know a bit more about me and what I can do on the pitch.”

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