“It sounded like bubble wrap popping” – Charlotte McLean

Charlotte McLean has revealed the full extent of her horror facial injury that she picked up against Western United!

The defender is currently on the sidelines as her team-mates bid to land a third consecutive Premiers Plate with two crucial clashes at Kogarah in the next six days.

McLean was ruled out of action as a result of a horrific accidental clash with keeper Jada Whyman. Winning 3-0 with minutes left on the clock, McLean was determined to keep a clean sheet, stepping up when her captain Nat Tobin had just been sent from the field in controversial fashion.

It was a chaotic minute during which Sydney FC lost three players to injury and suspension with Whyman joining McLean and being led from the field seconds after Tobin’s red card.

McLean controlling the ball

“I remember Jada and myself being quite vocal as a lot of the girls’ emotions were quite heightened as we did not want to concede.

“I was saying to myself, ‘you need to step up, you need to win that header’ and when I saw the ball coming, my eyes lit up as I was ready to head it away,” McLean said.

What happened next was unfortunate as Charlotte received a push in the back which propelled her into the on-rushing Whyman and both collided. The Sydney shot-stopper smashing her forehead off the cheek of McLean and both collapsed to the turf.

Jada being checked for her concussion

“I remember just feeling that blow to the cheek and being in so much pain. I almost wish I was concussed so I couldn’t feel it as much,” she joked.

“Lying on the ground I was glad Jada covered me up as I was not in a good way and it turns out my whole cheekbone got crushed.

The girls said it sounded like bubble wrap popping.

Charlotte McLean

With the defender’s drive to return to action, she is aiming to be back for next Saturday’s clash against Newcastle Jets, but she knows the journey back won’t be easy.

“They made two incisions, one inside my mouth and the other on the side of my head to re-build the cheekbone. I can exercise tomorrow so I’m really keen to do some non-contact training, get my touch back on the ball and be back in time for finals.

“I still can’t get my jaw open more than an inch and a half and I still have stitches all in my mouth, so it’s a bit of a waiting game, but more than anything I can’t wait to get back out there,” she concluded.

McLean has been a mainstay in centre back for Ante Juric since her debut and can’t stand missing Saturday’s 3pm clash with Adelaide United at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

“I was so nervous watching last week and I know I will be the same this weekend.

“The girls absolutely dominated against [Melbourne] City and I was pacing back and forth watching it on TV so I know that they can translate that into the Adelaide game for sure,” she added.

Charlotte during the clash with Canberra

“I’m really looking forward to being there this weekend and just being around the girls on game day. It’s something I’ve missed and I’m keen to be back amongst the group.”

McLean revealed that she is such a professional that she hasn’t missed a single minute since making her debut and in the heat of the moment following the collision, didn’t want to come off.

“Since making my debut in 2020/21, I have started every single game so I just didn’t want to break my streak,” she laughed.

After being forced from the field against her will, McLean then began to feel the full extent of her injury

“I was in so much pain and I was quite worried as I couldn’t move my jaw. Turns out my cheekbone crushed onto my jaw socket, hence why I couldn’t move it” she said.

While absent again for this weekend’s must win against Adelaide United, Charlotte will be in attendance to cheer the girls on. Join her this Saturday in one of three home matches to close out the season.

Match Details

Sydney FC v Adelaide United
Liberty A-League Round 19
Saturday 25th March 2023
Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah, NSW
Kick Off: 3pm AEDT
Gates Open: 2pm AEDT
Broadcast Live: Paramount+, 10Play & DubZone
Tickets: Click Here