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Menegola makes successful return

Sam Menegola made an impressive return from injury for Geelong's VFL side. - Geelong Cats,Sam Menegola
Sam Menegola made an impressive return from injury for Geelong's VFL side.

Sam Menegola made a triumphant return to football through the VFL on Saturday.

After ten weeks watching on from the sidelines, the midfielder was back amongst the action in Geelong’s nine-point win over Casey.

There was no easing Menegola back into football as he played the full four quarters of a highly contested game.

“It was tough, the ground and the conditions just made it a slog, I thought we fought it out really well and to get a win was nice,” he said.

Not only were the Cats battling a desperate Demons outfit, but the harsh winds and poor surface at Casey Fields made the match all the more difficult.

“It was so soft and so muddy for the whole ground, you understand that some grounds you are going to get those patches, but it was just the whole ground,” Menegola said.

“It makes aspects of the game you’re trying to play hard because the conditions just don’t let you do that.”

But Menegola was up for the scrap with a game-high 11 tackles to go with 26 disposals.

The 27-year-old also totalled seven inside 50s, five clearances and five score involvements to be amongst the Cats’ best players on the day.

“It was that sort of game, you had to be there and have a slog and be there up for the fight, so I just tried to do that,” he said.

“I thought all our mids did that really well and I just tried to join in and be a cog in that machine so hopefully I held up my part of that.”

The surgery that kept Menegola sidelined came after an innocuous collision that caused cartilage damage in his knee back in round seven of the AFL season.

While he encountered numerous collisions and knocks throughout Saturday’s game, Menegola believes it was good for his confidence to get through a contested game like that.

“You naturally worry about your running when you are coming back but it was more just a bash and crash game,” Menegola said.

“It was good to get that conditioning in as well, it’s different but it’s really important.”

Getting that match conditioning and fitness is something Menegola had been working on during the latter stages of his rehab but nothing compares to the feeling of actually getting back out and playing the game.

“You get to a point where the rehab goes from fixing the injury to getting that match conditioning,” he said.

“I felt like I had a good block under my belt, and I was just excited to get out and play footy.”

While Geelong fans will be keen to see Menegola back in the frame for AFL selection, the midfielder is just looking to play as well as he can now that he is back on the park.

“That’s what match committee is for, I’ll just get the run in my legs and see where that leads.”

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