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Rd 1: Simon's Selection

5:15pm  Mar 23, 2018

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3:22pm  Mar 22, 2018

Inside Melbourne: Episode 2

1:43pm  Mar 22, 2018

Delayed start won’t stop Viney

Matt Burgan  November 28, 2017 4:21 PM

Injury Update: Jack Viney Matt Burgan catches up with Jack Viney on his injury
We’ve still got heaps of time and I’m not stressing out too much, but just for the moment

JACK Viney says he’s on track for the start of the 2018 season, despite a delayed pre-season.

Viney said he was “absolutely confident” he would be right to play when the matches got underway next year, after foot problems interrupted the latter part of his 2017 season, forcing him to miss four of the final eight games, including the last two rounds.  

“[I’m] absolutely confident that I’ll be right, but probably the one thing I learnt from last season – or one of my key learnings – was that I probably pushed myself too hard in the pre-season and didn’t have my body feeling 100 per cent coming into the season,” he told

“You can’t make up [lost training time], and there is no time to rest and get better, so that’s what I’m focusing on at the moment – taking it real slow with my body, and making sure it’s 100 per cent before I progress to the next level.

“It’s going pretty slow at the moment, but I think that’s exactly where I need to be at this stage of pre-season. We’ve still got heaps of time and I’m not stressing out too much, but just for the moment – it’s pretty slow.”

Viney said he didn’t expect to return to the main training group until next year.  

“Hopefully around Christmas I’ll be outside – probably not training with the main group, but at least out there, catching a few rays and doing a few laps with the boys,” he said.

“It’s probably not until mid to late January, potentially, that I’ll be back into full training. That’s what I’ve got my goal set on at the moment, so I’ve still got a while to get there, but I’m looking forward to it and getting out of rehab.”

Last week, Viney started running on the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill in the club’s gym. He said getting the foot comfortable was the next stage.

“I spent a fair bit of time in the moonboot towards the end of last season and over the off-season,” he said.

“I’ve just got to get my foot used to loading, putting my weight through it again and getting my range back.

“It’s pretty early days and slow going at the moment, which is frustrating, but we’re ticking the boxes and seeing how it goes and pulls up every day.”

Viney praised the squad’s application to training in the off-season, which he said was noticeable among the players upon their return.

“All of the boys have come back in really good condition,” he said.

“Normally you’ve got one to two players that are hanging out the back of the group, but I haven’t seen that this year. Everyone’s been hitting their targets and some are exceeding expectations as well.”

And the co-captain named several players who had caught his eye so far in pre-season.

“For me, Maxy Gawn has come back in terrific condition and has dropped a lot of weight, and Alex Neal-Bullen normally kills it in the running, but he’s gone and taken it to another level this year,” he said.

“Billy Stretch is again super fit and then probably for myself, I’ve spent a lot of time with Aaron vandenBerg, Tim Smith and Sam Weideman. 

“I’ve spent a lot of time with those guys and probably Sam Weideman has really stood out to me. He’s put on some good size over the off-season, which was a goal and he’s training the house down at the moment. If he keeps going, he’s going to be a big force to be reckoned with.”

Viney said it was great to welcome the four draftees to the club – Charlie Spargo, Bayley Fritsch, Harrison Petty and Oskar Baker – and finalise the list for 2018.

“I had a few boys over to mine(my house) to watch the draft [last] Friday night. We were pretty excited to see all of the names read out. Mitchy King already knows Charlie Spargo, so he was rapt,” he said.

“They’ve all come in and they’re pretty shy and don’t say a whole heap, but Oskar is probably the most outspoken one of the group, and the rest are pretty quiet and go about their business. But I’m sure with a couple of weeks, they’ll start to open-up a bit.

“It’s the first year after the draft that I’m starting to feel old, which is not a good feeling.”