AFL New Zealand Heritage team member Marley Williams will be using last year’s North Melbourne Best and Fairest count as inspiration and motivation in his second season at North Melbourne.
The defender led best and fairest count after the early rounds were tallied, before his back injury curtailed his season from Round 14.
“Leading the Syd Barker gave me a lot of confidence and shows that I can play with these boys and gel with them, and I think they trust me now,” Williams told North Media.
“I started the season pretty well, it was just a bit unfortunate about what happened at the end of the year with injuries.”
Williams went under the knife to fix a shoulder issue as well as his back and has spent the majority of the past six months in rehabilitation.
“You do build a pretty close bond with the other boys in the rehab group as you all know what each other are going through and they help get you through every session,” Williams said.
“That does change pretty quickly though, as boys obviously pull out and get back to full training, which is great.”
Williams says he is in on the verge full fitness for the first time since June.
“This week has been my first week back with the main group, but I’m not quite at a 100% yet,” he said.
“I’ve still got a bit of conditioning to get through the legs, but I should be able to get back into the full session on Monday.”
Keeping disciplined in his recovery over the Christmas break has certainly contributed to Williams’ quick return in 2018.
“We took GPS units home so we were pretty much tracked through the whole break,” Williams explained.
“We are all looking to push to come back as soon as we can, so we were all pretty disciplined in that, and everyone hit their targets.
“A few of us came into the club during that time and trained with the fitness staff as well.”
Although he has only been involved a couple of sessions so far, Williams is feeling positive about the upcoming season.
“From my couple of days out there this week you can tell that the boys are really up and about.
“It’s obviously a young and exciting group, but it’s really good to see the boys have come in from the break really fit and ready to go.”
As for his goals for 2018, and whether he can go further in the Syd Barker count, Williams insists his focus is purely on the short-term.
“I’m only looking short-term at the moment, and the first goal is to get back into a full training session, which will hopefully happen next week.”
“Beyond that, I am hoping that I can play in at least one, but hopefully both of the JLT Series matches.”
Story – www.nmfc.com.au