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Melbourne Football Club

Round two return was right call: Tyson

DOM Tyson says it was the correct decision not to play in round one.

Tyson said he was physically ready to play in Melbourne’s season opener against the Saints at Etihad Stadium, but upon reflection said the match committee got it right.   

“The coaches made the call that I needed another week at Casey and looking back at it, I think it was a good call to set up the rest of my season,” he told

“I was a little bit underdone and you want to be ‘cherry ripe’ heading into round one, rather than have a few doubts in the back of your mind. I got plenty of confidence out of the way the team played and I thought ‘gee, I really want to be a part of that’.

“It’s a really aligned system – Melbourne and Casey – so you can play the same brand of footy. Justin Plapp does a great job coaching Casey, and with the likes of Jake Spencer and Jack Trengove playing, plus Buggy (Tom Bugg) and Kenty (Dean Kent) were playing, we had a good mix of players.

“You can go back and implement what you’re trying to do at senior [AFL] level … so when you get back to the seniors, you’re confident you can fit back in.”

Although Tyson said he was disappointed by his pre-Christmas knee injury, sustained on an intense military-style camp, he put the mishap into perspective.    

“It was frustrating – there is never a good time for an injury,” he said.

“In pre-season, you do have weeks to burn, so you’re not missing out on games – you’re just missing out on training continuity, which is important, but it’s not as frustrating as missing out on games. That was the worst part.

“You do feel for guys who get injured in-season and miss games because that’s what you want to be fit and firing. Although I did miss round one, I do feel as though I’ve set my season up. I’ve got enough run in the legs and I feel physically good to hopefully impact the rest of the season and play a good team role.”

Now, Tyson’s is back in the side and his knee is feeling good, he has no lasting issues from it.

“I don’t think about it. I’m feeling confident and I’m changing direction just fine, and cutting and sprinting, so I have full confidence. I think if you’re any bit underdone at AFL level, you get found out, so you’ve got to make sure you’re presenting physically very strong,” he said.

“I did try to sidestep [Bryce] Gibbs last weekend and the ball got smothered, so I’ve got to make sure I get my sidestep back.”

The 72-gamer said he and the team hadn’t given last year’s final round against Geelong any thought – when Melbourne lost by 111 at the Cattery. Tyson was confident the first clash between the two sides at Docklands was a 50/50 contest.

“I do feel like we’ve progressed significantly since then,” he said.

“Although it is disappointing to lose Lewy (Jordan Lewis) and Hoges (Jesse Hogan) through suspension, I do feel like our depth levels – despite the fact that they are very important players for us – means that it shouldn’t be the difference between winning and losing.

“We can still put out a competitive 22 and we’re confident you can bring a guy in who is going to impact and play a good role, because Casey has won the past four practice games.

“It is exciting to have a challenge, by playing a top four side from last year and we can get a really good gauge on how our footy stacks up against a really good finals side.”