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Buzza is back to being a dominant force

VFL Highlights (R7) Take a look at some of the best highlights from the round 7 clash against Collingwood.
Wylie Buzza at training earlier this week. - Wylie Buzza,Geelong Cats
Wylie Buzza at training earlier this week.
That’s the exciting thing for me as one of the talls, there is not one of us on the list that isn’t performing well at the moment.
Wylie Buzza

After an interrupted start to the season, Wylie Buzza is back to being a dominant force at VFL level.

A pectoral injury, coupled with a shoulder complaint, saw Buzza miss multiple weeks this season before he suffered a concussion in his return game.

It was a difficult setback for a player who felt on top of his game coming into 2019.

But his first full game since returning was a successful one, as Buzza kicked five goals in Sunday’s low-scoring win over Collingwood.

“Today (Buzza) played his first whole game for a while and he was dominant in the air and created a contest,” VFL coach Shane O’Bree said.

“We demand high standards from Buzz and he demands high standards of himself, and he got rewarded with five goals which was good.”

Externally, the hype around Buzza has taken a dip with the likes of Esava Ratugolea and Darcy Fort given chances ahead of him as the Cats’ second key forward.

But inside the walls of the football club, Buzza is in the conversation for a senior recall, according to O’Bree.

“He (is in the conversation) internally, it’s one of those things with Buzz, he probably got injured at the wrong time,” O’Bree said.

Buzza also believes he is in the frame for selection, but his injuries have held him back at times in 2019.

“I feel like I was building really nicely before I had the hiccup with the shoulder/pec injury, and then I came back and got concussed,” Buzza said.

“I think I was well and truly in the conversation but when you go out for a month with an injury and come back for only half a game, its’ pretty unrealistic to think you’re a chance to get a game.

“Especially with how everyone is performing at both levels and the blokes who have gone up had been tearing it up at VFL level as well.”

Buzza has developed into one of the Cats’ most experienced VFL forwards and is a regular fixture amongst the goalkickers.

His booming left foot opens up scoring opportunities where others wouldn’t even contemplate having a shot, but Buzza’s game style relies on his confidence.

His physical traits were always a key to his game, but the development for Buzza has come from his ability to work with his teammates.

Buzza is playing like the VFL’s own version of Tom Hawkins, with his ability to kick big bags while also finding ways to bring his teammates into the game.

“We have got a lot of new guys, whether it is AFL or VFL listed through the forward line, but I think we are starting to really gel and work well as a collective,” Buzza said.

“It is good that we are all having an input into our success, it’s not on any one person in particular.”

The VFL side can change drastically on a weekly basis but Buzza has developed great chemistry with a host of players in the forward line.

“(On the weekend) we had myself, Kreuger, Blake (Schlensog) and Dan Capiron down there and we are all tall, but their ability to understand the system showed that we can all have a nice impact on the game,” he said.

“I think even with Forty and Rabbott in the (VFL) team, we were starting to really build some chemistry which is something we had worked on a lot.”

While some of those players are competing with Buzza for similar positions in the AFL side, the humble forward is happy to see everyone performing.

“That’s the exciting thing for me as one of the talls, there is not one of us on the list that isn’t performing well at the moment,” he said.

“So I’ve just got to bide my time and keep doing the work until my opportunity comes.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs