Nathan Kreuger made an impressive return from injury via Geelong’s VFL team last weekend playing an important role in the Cats’ 57-point win.
Kreuger was dynamic down back finishing with 12 disposals (100% efficiency) and recording a game-high eight rebound 50s.
The 21-year-old also had an impact in the air leading the team for spoils and intercepts.
“I think that’s the best defensive game I’ve seen him play,” VFL coach Shane O’Bree said.
“A lot of times he was right up on his opponent, closing speed, spoil, just hard to play against as a defender and then just his composure with ball in hand.
“It shows he has done the work during his rehab.”
After a stint on the sidelines with a knee injury Kreuger ‘really enjoyed’ getting back to playing.
“It was my third minor surgery now, so it was just massive for me to get out there with the boys again and just have a good hitout and have a really good win,” Kreuger said.
“I think I had a few more spoils than I had possessions there at one point. It was a bit of a slow start but once my confidence grew, I felt the game started to evolve pretty quickly.”
The athletic tall was drafted as a forward but has found himself learning the defensive craft this season and he feels it’s helping him approve his footy at both ends of the ground.
“I think it is actually helping my forward craft to be honest because now I know what forwards hate and what they like too.”
“It’s definitely helping me develop as a defender as much as forward.”
This week Geelong’s AFL and VFL teams play Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday and Kreuger is looking forward to building on his comeback game.
“I’ve had a first four games in terms of practice matches so it is just continuing the somewhat good form I’ve been producing.
“So, if I can just keep continuing what I am doing, focus on defending first and then attacking I reckon I will be fine.”
This week holds an additional special place for Kreuger as an Indigenous man as the AFL celebrates Sir Doug Nicholls Round.
“It’s huge,” he said.
“It is all about culture for me and then all my teammates as well and I know my family back home will be super proud of me and they’ll be watching with intent.
“Hopefully it’s a tv game, I am not too sure and it’s just massive for me personally as well being an Indigenous man.
“It’s just another way to bring everyone together, I think.”
Geelong’s AFL clash with Collingwood will commence at the MCG on Saturday at 1.45pm, with the VFL game between the same two sides to follow at 4.55pm.