It’s no secret that Brisbane Lions defender Noah Answerth has experienced an unlucky start to his promising AFL career.

Recruited by the Lions from the Oakleigh Chargers with Pick No. 55 at the 2018 AFL draft, Anwerth’s arrival at The Gabba brought plenty of excitement.

Yet after impressing early for the Lions, the rising star suffered a groin injury which saw his miss the 2020 finals series and all of the 2021 season.

In fact, he had surgery on both his groins and appendix in the same week, keeping him bed-ridden for 16 days.


While this has been well documented, someone that has experienced these frustrating setbacks with him is his partner and Queensland Firebirds netballer Macy Gardner.

As the popular Lion, more affectionately known as ‘Noz’, gears up for his 50th game, Macy provides some insight into his journey to the milestone. 

Question: Noah has had his fair share of bad luck with injuries and setbacks - how has he dealt with that?

Macy: I’ve never met a more driven person that continually strives to get the absolute best out of themselves.

Obviously, with not being able to play all last season, and having those almost moments of getting back and then never really getting there can be quite frustrating and disappointing. 

But he has been very good at galvanizing those feelings and emotions to motivate himself to continue to try and get back to playing.

He’s always been positive that things will eventually go his way with persistence and hard work.

Noah’s mindset has always been to never leave a page unturned, and that’s the exact approach he took with his rehab.


Q: As not only his partner, but a professional athlete yourself, what sort of role did you play in trying to help keep him positive?

Macy: Noah is a positive and motivated person in general, so it wasn’t too hard to keep him up and about away from footy.

As always it can be difficult sitting there and watching your mates play and you physically can’t be out there with them, so it can gradually start to weigh on you.

However, he’s had great support around him from the club and his family - also Cam (Rayner) and Eric (Hipwood) were in rehab at the time.

I just tried to keep reassuring him when his rehab got a bit stagnant that it was all just a part of the process.

When you are coming back from injury the small things that you achieve on your way back are also the biggest wins and something to recognize, especially with an injury that is so uncertain.

Like anything no one’s career is the same and you’ve just got to take the highs and the lows all in your stride and not to compare yourself.

So just reinforcing the progression through each stage of his rehab was an accomplishment in itself. 

Q: Yours and Noah’s dogs also played a key role in getting him through his rehab, didn’t they?

We can’t forget our dogs Ziggy and Nahla (laughs).

For the majority, when you are doing rehab as many athletes know it can be quite lonely when no one else is going through the same thing as you.

Noah had a long stint of training and doing laps of the ovals by himself when he wasn’t at the club.

I would try and go where I could, but Zig and Nahla were the main stayers running laps with him to make it a little more enjoyable.


What’s it been like this year seeing him back playing almost every game and playing well?

It’s been incredible to watch.

Noah has always been a tough critic on his own performances, so once he had his first game back, it was pretty much all business from there.

So, every now and then I try and remind him of how much he has achieved with all that he has gone through.

I know myself, his family and close friends are all super proud of his resilience and determination to continue to get the best out of himself while playing footy and he should also be super proud.

Q: It was a long and tough enough road to 50 games as it was, when he missed playing his 50th in the first final, through suspension, how tough was that?

Macy: Noah loves to play on the edge, that’s what makes him the footballer he is.

Obviously to see that he was suspended for the first week of finals was disappointing.

But Noah had a good mind frame around it, that there was no point getting worked up about something that you can’t control.

And he never doubted the boys wouldn’t be able to get the job done against Richmond.

Pretty much everything continued as normal, just a little more anticipation I suppose waiting to see if there would be another week of training and playing to come.

Noah likes to keep himself busy regardless and has lots going on outside of footy which helped keep his mind off not being able to play.

He’s been working through finishing his building and construction course, playing a fair bit of golf which, he claims he’s pretty good at, and working on a couple of renovation projects.