Axed forward Daniel Menzel will draw on his resilience built up over four knee reconstructions to force his way back into Geelong’s AFL side.
The 25-year-old has been dropped for the Cats’ qualifying final against Richmond on Friday despite kicking 38 goals in 17 games this season.
Given Menzel is off contract at season’s end, the surprise omission by coach Chris Scott adds uncertainty to his future after being linked with a move home to South Australia.
Menzel knows he needs to improve on forward pressure, according to his agent Adam Ramanauskas.
“He’s disappointed … but at the same time there’s still a lot of football to be played in September,” Ramanauskas told Melbourne radio station RSN on Friday.
“He knows he’s got to work on that defensive side of the game. He’s prepared to do that.
“Of course he was (surprised), absolutely. Any person would be surprised when they’re dropped when they’ve kicked 38 goals in 17 games for the season.
“He’s got to take it on the chin.”
Menzel is no stranger to setbacks.
He has overcome four knee reconstructions, playing no football between 2012 and 2014, 35 games in the past two seasons from a career total of 58.
“He’s got a great attitude,” Ramanauskas said.
“After coming back from four knee reconstructions, of course he’s going to have a great attitude.”
Scott said last month that they would like to keep Menzel, adding the club tabled a two-year deal earlier this year.
The parties mutually decided to put the contract issue to one side until the season was over.
Menzel was named as an emergency for Friday night’s blockbuster.