Injury derailed his first season in red and white, but promising Sydney Swans forward Daniel Menzel insists “my body is feeling as good as ever” as he sets his sights on a 2020 pre-season full of hope.
An injury-hampered 2019 pre-season wouldn’t allow the former Geelong Cats livewire to deliver his game-changing best in his early days as a Swan, with the 27-year-old managing just seven goals across seven AFL games.
But Menzel, who booted 136 goals across 73 games as a Cat, says he’s primed to rediscover his mojo.
“I would have liked to have played more footy and impact more than I did. Having surgery in the pre-season obviously set me back and re-injuring at the start of the year cost me a bit too,” Menzel told SwansTV.
“But in terms of looking forward, I’m really optimistic that that’s all fixed now and that my body is feeling as good as ever, so I’m really happy about that.
“I haven’t ever had a full pre-season – not since my first year in the AFL – and it’s been a really long time since my knees or groin were injury-free.
“It’s still a long way away, but I’m really looking forward to being fit and ready to go for the pre-season and building from there.”
The Swans’ coaching panel saw glimpses of Menzel’s best as Sydney met Port Adelaide in Round 21.
The South Australian threaded a classy goal on the run from the right-forward pocket in the Adelaide Oval clash, slashing the deficit in the dying moments of the opening half.
He then showed admirable skill and courage to set up his second six-pointer when he threw himself at oncoming traffic to take an outstanding grab.
Sydney forwards coach Steve Johnson says Menzel in prime shape is a tantalising prospect.
“We’d love to see what he’s capable of when he’s running around with a full pre-season under his belt,” Johnson told SwansTV.
“We think he can be a really dangerous forward for us.”