SYDNEY recruit Daniel Menzel is determined to address the forward pressure criticism of his game, but can’t help but smile at the prospect of playing alongside superstar Lance Franklin.
Menzel, who kicked 136 goals in 73 games with Geelong – in between having four knee reconstructions -was delisted by the Cats and snapped up by Sydney.
No one questions Menzel’s’ ability to kick goals but the defensive side of his game has drawn criticism, with the perception that his weakness is not applying enough forward pressure, a big factor in the modern game.
He said he looked forward to developing that aspect under Sydney head coach John Longmire and Swans forwards coach Steve Johnson, a former Geelong teammate.
“‘If it’s laying tackles, if it’s not, winning contested possessions, whatever they need for me to do is what I want to do,” Menzel said.
He was philosophical about the negative focus on that aspect of his game.
“I’ve been through four knee (reconstructions), so to cop a little bit of criticism while I’m playing, I’m happy to do that because it means I’m playing,” he said.
While Sydney boast a crop of exciting young forwards in Tom Papley, Will Hayward, Bern Ronke and Tom McCartin, Menzel will add more experience alongside Franklin, who he met for the first time on Monday.
“To actually play in the same forward line as well, I’m really looking forward to that. He’s quite a smart player obviously, but just a gun as well,” Menzel said.
“But also his skills are so good that he will just put you in good position and you will get the rewards too if you run to the right spot.
“It’s something that when I think about, it makes you smile because it’s just a great opportunity.”‘
Menzel said his new forwards coach knew his game a little better than most people.
“I don’t think anyone is on his (Johnson’s) wavelength, but I feel like we are close, so I can sort of understand when he says some real weird stuff, maybe I might get that more than someone else,” Menzel said.
Having battled back from injury issues Menzel wasn’t too worried he would end up out of the AFL system after he was cut by the Cats.
“To go through so much you’ve got to have confidence in yourself and back yourself and believe in yourself and I always thought I would get that opportunity,” he said.
© AAP 2018