K rock Football

Sam set for key role at VFL Cats

Former Essendon and Brisbane ruck Sam Michael at Geelong VFL training. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

THE departure of several big men from Geelong’s AFL list since the end of the 2019 season could see former  Brisbane and Essendon big man Sam Michael play an important role in the Cats’ VFL team next year.

Zac Smith and Ryan Abbott, with a little bit of help from Wylie Buzza, have carried Geelong’s ruck division at VFL level over the last two years

However, that trio is no longer at GMHBA Stadium, and with Sam De Koning the only tall selected during last month’s draft period, Michael’s invitation from the Cats to join VFL training has proved to be an inspired one.

“He becomes really handy now,” coach Shane O’Bree said.

“He’s durable and he’s a fitness beast. We’re loving what we’re seeing early days.

“Hopefully we can get him to a few AFL (training) sessions and get him comfortable with our AFL boys.”

VFL: MILES KEEN FOR ANOTHER CHANCE

Michael, 26, played three games in three seasons with the Lions before being delisted.

He was then signed by the Bombers for the 2016 season as a top-up following the suspension of 12 players as a result of the supplements scandal.

Michael spent this year with GFL club St Albans, with his form resulting in call-ups to both the GFL and Vic Country teams.

He was named best-on-ground in Vic Country’s win over the VAFA before a knee injury ended his season.

“We gave him a call and said “mate, where are you at with your footy?”,” O’Bree said.

“Once he came through our facilities and learned what we had planned for him with his leadership and knowledge and his experience of being on an AFL list, Sam was pumped about having a mindset to progress the AFL boys, but also be a sounding board for the VFL crew.”

O’Bree will look to St Mary’s Trent McMullan, who was off the list in 2019 after travelling for the first half of the year, and Colac’s Adam Garner

“We’ve got a lot of young talls we’re trying to develop as quickly as possible in case we need them at VFL level,” O’Bree said.

“Guys like Adam Garner and Trent McMullan had ripping years last year for their local clubs, so we see taking them another step off a full pre-season.”

Twitter: @tom_king79