Menzel in mix for Swans

May 27, 2019 9:00 pm in by
Former Geelong forward Daniel Menzel. ( Image/Marcel Berens)

FIT-again forward Daniel Menzel is in the mix to make his Sydney Swans AFL debut against former club Geelong on Saturday.

Menzel, who overcame four knee reconstructions in a 73-game career with the Cats, underwent off-season groin surgery.

The Swans have been taking a cautious approach with Menzel, whom they recruited as a delisted free agent after the 2018 season, but the 27-year-old has now played two NEAFL games.

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Menzel’s most recent effort was a five-goal haul in the Swans’ 58-point win over Gold Coast on Saturday.

Unleashing Menzel and fellow former Cat Jackson Thurlow against the ladder- leading flag favourites in Geelong would provide an intriguing subplot to this weekend’s contest, especially with former Swan Gary Rohan firing on all cylinders in the hoops.

Swans coach John Longmire is keen to see Menzel, Lance Franklin and Sam Reid in the same forward line for the first time, but is remaining coy as to whether it will happen on Saturday.

“We’ve got to be mindful of performance, both in terms of Dan and the team, and also what’s going to be best for him for the rest of the year,” Longmire told reporters on Monday.

“We’ve got to get that balance right. Has he done enough to come in and play well this week, next week and beyond?

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“He had a quiet first half in the NEAFL on the weekend and then his second half was good.

“He’s not in the team just yet; we’ll have to sit down and have a look … Geelong are one of the best defensive back six in the competition, so we’ll have to get that right.”

Longmire suggested Menzel is now physically OK, noting he ran out his second game in the reserves quite well.

The Swans will be forced to make at least one change this week, with co-captain Josh Kennedy’s knee injury to keep him on the sidelines for at least two matches.

George Hewett (concussion) also failed to finish the Swans’ last-start loss to Collingwood, but the young midfielder has pulled up well and is likely to tackle Geelong.

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Longmire is hopeful Kennedy will face Hawthorn in round 14 following the Swans’ mid-season bye.

“We were able to win the week before without him. We take on Geelong in Geelong without him, what a wonderful challenge for our team,” he said.

“The reality is he’s not playing, we can’t do much about it and we’ll get on with it.”

© AAP 2019


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