Stanley set sights on NAB

By
Updated: February 2, 2016
Geelong big man Rhys Stanley catches his breath after a solid running session this morning. Picture: AL PACKER
Geelong big man Rhys Stanley catches his breath after a solid running session this morning. Picture: AL PACKER

Geelong big man Rhys Stanley catches his breath after a solid running session this morning. Picture: AL PACKER

GEELONG ruckman Rhys Stanley has set his sights on playing in the NAB Challenge as he continues to make solid progress in his recovery from a broken foot.

The former St Kilda big man has had a gradual build-up through the pre-season after mid-season surgery on the break he suffered in the Round 11 win over Port Adelaide.

“I’ve been able to string some sessions together now, which is really good,” Stanley said.

“It was a slow sort of start through the off-season. Obviously with the injury, it put me out for a bit.

“But the suregon’s really happy, the physios are happy, the docs are happy and so am I, so it’s all going well.

Stanley is confident he will play at least one of the three NAB Challenge matches against Collingwood (February 26), Essendon (March 5) or Fremantle (March 12).

“It’s definitely likely,” Stanley said.

“With the full training I’m able to do, I feel if I can fully train and tick that off, there is no reason I couldn’t play some NAB Cup.

“I fully trained today with the boys, and then, hopefully, going on for the rest of this week I’ll do the same thing and then I’ll be doing some top-up running on the side to get that fitness base back up to where the boys are at.”

Stanley admits there is still some lingering pain to deal with, however it is not causing any major concerns.

“But every played has niggles. It’s one of those things you just deal with, and everyone’s got something, so I guess this is my something.

“A little niggle, but nothing that stresses me out too bad.”

Stanley’s return, coupled with the arrival of Zac Smith and the ability of the likes of Mitch Clark, Nathan Vardy and reigning best and fairest Mark Blicavs to play in the ruck gives coach Chris Scott options he could only have dreamed about in the last three years.

“It’s just competition for spots, which I think’s great, it’s healthy,” he said.

“I think all the big guys we’ve got out there are, touch wood, are really healthy this year and everyone’s training really well, so I think it’s fantastic for the group.

It’s one of the reasons, along with the addition of Patrick Dangerfield, Lachie Henderson and Scott Selwood that has Geelong touted as a top-four prospect.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Stanley said.

“I think internally it’s the old clichés, doing the week-to-week stuff.

“But externally, there’s a bit of excitement, and I think we’re enjoying it.

“We’ve just got to live up and do the little things well.

“But, definitely, it’s an exciting time for the club, and the list we’ve got together’s pretty talented.

Twitter: @tom_king79



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