VFL Preview – Round 13

By
Updated: July 9, 2015
Daniel Menzel runs laps at training on Wednesday ahead of his return to football this weekend Picture: AL PACKER
Daniel Menzel runs laps at training on Wednesday ahead of his return to football this weekend Picture: AL PACKER

Daniel Menzel runs laps at training on Wednesday ahead of his return to football this weekend Picture: AL PACKER

THEY might be opposing coaches on Saturday but Geelong’s Paul Hood and Werribee counterpart John Lamont both share the same hope that Daniel Menzel successfully gets through his comeback match.

Menzel will play his first game in 813 days when he lines up in Saturday’s clash between the Tigers and Cats at Werribee’s Avalon Airport Oval.

The 23-year-old, who’s undergone four knee reconstructions since first injuring his left knee in September 2011, has been named on a wing.

He will have plenty of family and friends at the game to support him as he takes the next step on a long road back to resuming his AFL career.

Hood said they weren’t placing an expectations on Menzel, who’s last match at any level was in April 2013.

“As everyone knows, it’s a terrific story how hard Dan’s worked to get back and play footy,” Hood said.

“We just want him to go out there and enjoy himself and anything else is a bonus. While it’s great to have Dan back, for us as a team it’s still very much about playing the right way and Dan will be very much a leader in that respect with his experience.”

Lamont said Menzel deserved some good luck after persevering through countless setbacks and joked he hoped the talented forward “had a good run around and enjoys himself and maybe goes through the game possession-less” on his return.

“We as a footy club certainly wish him all the best. I can’t even imagine what he’s been through,” Lamont said.

“He just needs a bit of luck I suppose. Hopefully he’ll get through unscathed and wouldn’t that be great if forever he never has another injury again.”

The Cats have been further strengthened by the return of forward Shane Kersten, defender Jake Kolodjashnij and midfielder Michael Luxford from their AFL side.

First year players Nakia Cockatoo and Jordon Cunico are back from long-term injuries, giving the Cats 14 AFL-listed players.

Hood said co-captain Ryan Williams had scans this week on a toe problem picked up on his comeback from an ankle injury for GFL side St Joseph’s last round and was unlikely to return to the VFL team for a fortnight.

Werribee has regained goalkicking big man Majak Daw after one week at North Melbourne but Ben Brown returns to the Kangaroos after his four-goal VFL haul last round.

The Cats defeated the Tigers by three goals in the season opener under lights in Geelong but Werribee has bounced back and finds itself sitting inside the top four whereas the Cats are now two games outside the top eight in 11th spot.

Hood said he was expecting a better effort from his team compared to what they produced in their eight-goal loss against Casey last round.

“Last week our attitude wasn’t what you need when you’re playing a team ranked above you on the ladder so this week gives us a chance to fix that up,” Hood said.

“For our VFL list, the way we need to play every week is be as consistent for as much of the game as they can.

“We understand the boys will have their peaks and troughs, but we work very hard not to. We just have to be really competitive, really determined and see what we can get out of the day.”

There’s just two games between first and ninth on the ladder and Lamont is wary of their opponent this week.

“I think anyone can beat anyone on a given day and we’ve got healthy respect for all the AFL clubs, Geelong in particular,” Lamont said.

“We know they’ve had their injuries at AFL level but they’re starting to get a few back. Geelong will still be harboring desires to stay in touch with the top eight and certainly they’re a good enough team to be in there.

“So it promises to be a really competitive game.”

Twitter: @GreenBradley

 

Werribee Tigers (4th) vs. Geelong (11th) @ Avalon Airport Oval, Saturday 1.00pm

Werribee Tigers

B Sodomaco Wilson Sherlock
HB McMahon Holman Laracy
C Turner Hanson McDonald
HF Fordham Porter Crichton
F Speight Daw Wood
R Wallace Bolton Conway
Int Wales Reid Harper
Hussey Munro Maishman
Robinson Norris Brett*

Geelong             

B Ruggles Kolodjashnij Cunico
HB Raidme Tudor Jansen
C Gore Cockatoo Menzel
HF Luxford Kersten Blease
F Farrelly Lucey Bates
R Read Horlin-Smith Smedts
Int Sheringham Maas Hollmer
Fort Paliouras Herbison
Gibbs Rees Haintz*


Bendigo Bank