The captain of an NPL Victoria club faces a significant challenge getting back on the pitch with a career-threatening injury at 27. This is his story.
James Haran should be at the peak of his football powers at the age of 27.
Instead, the Preston Lions captain is fighting to save his career.
If he wants to continue playing in NPL Victoria, he must raise $40,000 to help fund the surgery.
She has been diagnosed with severe arthritis, pubic bone fractures, and additional bone growth in both hips.
These conditions mean that he has difficulty sleeping most of the night, often getting a maximum of three hours.
“I really didn’t know it was that bad until this year to be honest. It was normal for me to wake up in pain, not sleep, I can’t sit down, ”she said.
“I just assumed it was stiff hips. This year, I got to the point where I couldn’t function, I couldn’t play at this level.
“At this level, if you don’t play, you don’t get paid, so it was taking a toll on me financially and mentally because I wanted to be out there and play.
“I did everything I could in terms of rehabilitation, saw the best people and finally got a surgeon that was recommended to me.
“He did some scans and looked at them and pretty much told me ‘you’re screwed.’ You have broken hips.
“I have fractures in my pubic bone, extra bone in both hips and that is from years and years of not understanding my problems.
“I’ve gotten to the point where I really can’t function right now.
“I don’t want to give up on my dream yet, so I’m trying to exhaust my options.”
Haran re-signed with the Lions for two more seasons at the end of the 2022 campaign.
Now that he has been forced to sit on the sidelines, he has taken on a mentoring role to some of his teammates in a season in which the club has been cruel with injuries.
But not stepping on the pitch every week is the biggest challenge for Haran, who has spent time with Queens Park Rangers in England.
“I don’t want to retire from football,” he said.
“Football is my liberation.
“It has definitely been exhausting both physically and mentally. I just started seeing mental health professionals to try to keep me at peace during the injury with the goal of trying to come back.
“Ultimately, if the money hasn’t come in yet, I haven’t accepted it yet, I would probably have to pull out.”
It’s not just Haran’s football career that has been put on hold.
His condition is affecting his work as a personal trainer.
“It’s hard to wake up at 4 am,” he said.
“I wake up sore. I can’t sit for more than 15-20 minutes.
“I have had to work more than I would have liked. I’m just grinding to make ends meet.
“I’m doing personal training and I do some painting on the side.
“But it all depends on how my body is.”
Haran said that after the surgery he expected a recovery of “five to six months” as he hopes to go under the knife as soon as possible.
It comes at a time when León is still competing for the national second division, which is expected to start in March 2024.
“I want to do well before that because it’s a great opportunity for our club,” he said.
“If the surgery is delayed much longer, I’m looking at almost two seasons out of the game, which is a long time at my age.
“I don’t want to ask people for money, but it’s gotten to this point and I’m grateful for any donations.”
You can donate to support Haran here.
Originally Posted on James Haran Opens Up About Injury Hell