FULL STRETCH: Western Pride goalkeeper Max Davison has recovered strongly after starring in his team's 2017 NPL grand final victory.
FULL STRETCH: Western Pride goalkeeper Max Davison has recovered strongly after starring in his team's 2017 NPL grand final victory. Chris Simpson

With season on the line, mighty Max keeps positive outlook

FOOTBALL: Having recovered from what Max Davison endured is a feat in itself.

His football future was uncertain after a stint in hospital following a fracture to the outside of his fibula and ankle damage. The fearless goalkeeper suffered the serious injuries in his team's 5-1 National Premier Leagues victory over Brisbane Roar Youth late last season.

However, the Western Pride custodian has returned with his trademark positive attitude and keen to made a telling impact when needed most.

With Pride's NPL future reaching a desperation stage on Saturday night, Davison knows the vital role he must play if selected to play Sunshine Coast at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.

"The boys have to get up for this big game,'' Davison said.

"Pretty much the season is on the line . . . especially next year is on the line.''

Beat the cellar-dwellars and 12th placed Pride keep their fading hopes of avoiding relegation alive. Lose to Sunshine Coast and Pride can start preparing for next year's Queensland Premier League competition.

The gravity of the situation is not lost on players like Davison, who shared in Pride's historic 2017 NPL grand final victory.

"Just get the team out of that relegation zone,'' Davison said.

Clearly relieved to be continuing at Pride, Davison thanked everyone who supported him, from the medical staff to officials and this year's head coach Terry Kirkham.

"Terry told me to take my time and do the recovery properly,'' he said.

"I feel awesome. I feel great.

"It's just getting my match fitness back and that match awareness really.

"Hopefully Terry picks me for the game at the weekend. I'm fired up and ready to go.''

Davison was confident the Pride players would be up for a mighty effort at their headquarters on Saturday night, especially after their gritty 3-2 victory over South West Queensland before last weekend's 4-0 Red-lands United setback.

As he hopes to help out his team, Davison shared some positives about time away from the game during his lengthy rehabilitation.

"It's good to be playing again,'' Davison, 19, said.

"I knew it was going to take a while.

"It just feels longer because you are so used to playing year to year.''

Apart from a mental break from football, Davison said spending time recovering gave his body a rest working full-time, training three nights a week and playing at weekends.

The excellent backline communicator also benefited from watching his teammates from the sideline, from a coach's perspective.

"It's actually really great to see the games,'' he said, after missing much of his third season with Pride while recovering. "See how the boys play.''

Davison said it was helpful while injured to assess the different scenarios and learn more about the game.

"You see a lot of team play, you see the strengths and weaknesses,'' he said.

"When I'm out on the field, you don't really see everything that you see from the sideline.''

Game day

NPL: Saturday (7pm) - Western Pride v Sunshine Coast at Briggs Road Sporting Complex. U18s play at 3pm with U20 game at 5pm.

NPL women: Sunday (4pm) - Western Pride v Brisbane Roar at Logan.