GEELONG premiership player Travis Varcoe says there is renewed optimism surrounding Geelong’s aim to win a flag outside the top four as he attempts a comeback into the senior team that appeared at long odds before Saturday.
After missing the entire season with stress fractures in his foot, Varcoe said he has been proud to watching his club on the sidelines turn its season around on the back of an “inconsistent” first half of the year.
“The first half (of the season) I thought we were pretty inconsistent and the boys know that, they’re too competitive to let that keep continuing and they’re doing everything they can to rectify that,” Varcoe said.
“We’ve just got to be playing the right footy at the right time and we’re taking small steps to get there. I don’t want to be watching it from the stands but I’ve been proud of the boys and how they’ve fought back from the first half.”
“I think all the boys love this time of year. All of our players just will themselves to get there. A lot of times we’ve been written off but internally we know what we need to do and how to get there (another grand final). We’ve just got to keep working on that,” he said.
The Cats are guaranteed to contest another finals campaign – in their quest for back to back flags – after a resounding 42-point win over St Kilda on Friday night.
Varcoe said he has endured a “frustrating” run that included two setbacks which required further surgery on his foot during the season.
Despite the setbacks, he said he was always confident of playing some type of footy but questioned whether he would return to the AFL ranks – and that still remains to be seen.
But on the back of an encouraging return in the VFL against Coburg on Saturday, Varcoe’s confidence to get back in the mix on the eve of September has sky-rocketed.
“I was confident that I would play some form of footy…it wasn’t ideal, the couple of setbacks but it’s just the way it fell for me this year and I’ve just got to keep progressing forward,” he said.
“There’s two ways that you can go about it, you can sort of bury your head and whinge about it or it’s the hand you’ve been dealt, you’ve just got to deal with it and move on. I always try and give myself the best chance to get back.”
“I’ve got a tremendous amount of faith in the medical team and I put a lot of trust into them. They said I was right to go and that was good enough for me,” he said.
It is likely Varcoe will play another VFL game against Williamstown this week before a possible dress-rehearsal return in the AFL against Sydney, a week before the finals.
Ruckman Nathan Vardy is also a chance to return in the same match after two promising displays in the VFL on return from a hip injury.
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