FOR every good luck story there are countless bad luck ones – just ask Simone Smith. Remember the name?
As players were preparing for the opening round of the history-making NRL Women's Premiership at the weekend, Smith was returning from a five-day cruise to Airlie Beach.
In May last year, the 25-year-old Kempsey product was at the top of her game after a progression through the ranks that culminated in her only Australian Jillaroos jersey.
It was almost all too easy.
“I do feel like one of those one-hit wonders because I’ve only been on the scene once,” Smith said.
Then the sporting gods decided they wanted to throw a spanner in the works – Smith suffered a serious knee injury that ruled her out for the last six months.
Now she has her sights set on the second season of the women’s premiership.
Smith is in the process of recovering from a full right knee reconstruction that brought to an end any hope she had of writing her own page in rugby league folklore.
“It does put a bit of a dent in your life with all the awesome stuff that’s happening in the women’s game,” Smith said.
It is a road Smith has been down before after she also underwent a knee reconstruction on the same knee in 2014.
“I know what’s on the road ahead,” she said.
The former Port City Breakers league tag star said she had mixed emotions when the women’s competition kicked off on Saturday.
Prior to being told a reconstruction was the only option to repair her right knee, Smith had received interest from the Brisbane Broncos.
The sky was the limit.
“I was excited (at the weekend), but it was very hard to watch as well because there was the possibility I could have been there,” she said.
“A good friend of mine works at the Broncos and has been really supportive and a great mentor for me.
“She got hold of me and asked if I was keen to play all before the surgery happened.
“When I grew up watching the NRL I used to always think it would be awesome to have a women’s comp that was the same as the men’s.
“To know now it’s realistic, there are four teams and a lot of girls are playing that I played alongside and against – it was a good feeling.”
Smith is already aiming for a return to the field next season.
“It made me a lot more motivated and hungry to stay motivated and hopefully get a crack at doing it next year,” she said.
Despite being out of sight, the halfback hasn’t totally been out of mind.
“I have had contact with the Jillaroos strength and conditioning coach,” Smith said.
“He wants to get me back into some of the Jillaroo camps to see where I’m at as to where I can be included in the camps.
“I haven’t been forgotten about too much which is nice to know.”