After missing six games due to a hamstring injury, the 20-year-old midfielder made her comeback with a 30-minute cameo in the Continental Cup defeat to Manchester United.
It was the culmination of weeks of diligent rehabilitation and it’s a period which has reinforced to Stanway the importance of tackling strength and conditioning training with as much enthusiasm as she does sessions where she has the ball at her feet.
“I’ve worked really hard and I’ve never been as focused in the gym,” she said.
“When you’re in an environment for a certain amount of time you can get a bit comfortable in it.
“So, if the gym becomes optional you may choose the easy option, whereas now I’ve definitely become more focused, in the gym especially.”
It wasn’t all plain sailing for City’s No.10.
The nature of the injury, picked up innocuously whilst shaping to shoot during the 7-1 Champions League win over Lugano, left Stanway frustrated, particularly as it came so early in the campaign.
However, the England international refused to dwell on it for too long and says the support of the Club’s medical staff gave her increased motivation during her recovery.
“I was a bit negative at the start because you don’t want to believe you’re actually injured because everything you’ve worked for has been taken away from you,” she added.
“I shot and pulled my hamstring. It was a freak incident.
“The girls would laugh and say I’ve been teacher’s pet these last few weeks. I’ve worked really closely with our sports scientist, James McCarron.
“He’s worked really hard on making sure I’m fit and gone out of his way to do extra. He’s been unbelievable in helping me get back fit.”