From injury to Switzerland

Volleyball player Matthew Hender.
Volleyball player Matthew Hender.

The 23-year-old has spent the past five months in Perth recovering from a ligament tear and cartilage damage to his ankle.

Hender said the past few months had been a challenge, but injury had helped him mature as a person and player.

‘My ankle has been a huge setback in my career and my focus has been intensive rehab to return back to my best physical condition,’ he said.

‘Trying to juggle a life around injury rehab, club training and commitments, university studies and a small social life is definitely a challenge that people sometimes don’t understand.’

Hender will head to Switzerland to play in the Swiss national league, which kicks off at the end of September.

He said his main goal while overseas was to improve as a player and learn as much as possible.

‘I hope that I can use this season in Europe as a good platform for my own senior career,’ Hender said.

‘Playing for the national team is always a goal for me and I hope that with a strong season in Europe I can gain a chance to trial for national team involvement next year.’

After taking up volleyball at high school, Hender played in Finland over the 2013/14 northern winter season and in Sweden prior to that.

He said the best thing about the sport was having a team working as one.

‘It’s very rewarding when everyone does their part in the team and I think that’s what volleyball is about,’ Hender said.

‘There is a large amount of skill involved and refining those skills and improving is definitely why I have stuck at it.’