Sydney Swans’ Callum Mills overcomes month from hell to play in AFL grand final

by admin on July 14th, 2018

filed under 南京夜网

Talent to burn: Callum Mills. Taking it all in: Harry Marsh and Callum Mills take part in the 2016 AFL Grand Final Parade. Photo: Darrian Traynor
Nanjing Night Net

September was the month from hell for Rising Star Callum Mills but October might just be the best of his life if Sydney triumphs against the Western Bulldogs in the AFL grand final.

Mills proved his fitness for the game in the nick of time, overcoming the grade-one hamstring tear he suffered in week one of the finals against GWS which he feared had ended his season.

The first-year star replaces the injured Aliir Aliir in the grand final while co-captain Jarrad McVeigh has shaken off a calf injury and resumes his place in the side at the expense of Harry Marsh.

Mills and McVeigh trained well on Wednesday at the SCG, before a light run on the MCG on Friday morning.

“Everything’s gone to plan, it’s been quite stressful but it’s good that I’m here and I’ve been able to enjoy it,” Mills said.

“Last week I knew I had a chance but realistically it was up to the coaches. As long as I was fit and ready to go it wasn’t really up to me, I had to train this week to prove my fitness.

“It wasn’t too positive straight away. It was shattering for me and I didn’t know for how long it would last.

“I always had the mindset that I’d be able to get back. When it was I wasn’t sure but luckily enough I was picked this week and I’m very grateful.

“You’ve got to have a positive mind to heal fast. That was my mindset, just control what you can control and that’s what I did.”

September should’ve been a highlight month for Mills.

After playing all but two games in the regular season and helping the Swans to a minor premiership in his first year, he was crowned the Rising Star, stamping his name as the finest emerging talent in the league.

But it meant a trip to Melbourne to collect his award, and an untimely stomach bug made that adventure one of the roughest he’d ever experienced.

Just a few days later Sydney submitted to a six-goal loss against cross-town rivals GWS, Mills tore his hamstring and the Swans were staring at a second-straight year of being bundled out of the finals in straight sets.

The last three weeks have been pure rehabilitation for the 19-year-old who has had to watch on anxiously as Sydney beat Adelaide and then Geelong to book a spot in the grand final.

Mills has lost count of the laps he ran around the SCG in September. He’s been kicking the football for a couple of weeks now, and on Wednesday he convinced coach John Longmire that he was ready for his first game since the Giants loss.

“He’s fine, he’s right to go and he’s trained … absolutely flat out a couple of times this week,” Longmire said.

“He’s done more than what’s expected of him and he feels really good.”

McVeigh meanwhile conceded playing so soon after the calf injury he sustained against Adelaide was risky, but was confident he’d make it through the game.

“We spoke about we’re not going to wait until Saturday to make these decisions, it wouldn’t be fair on me not knowing what’s happening and it wouldn’t be fair on someone else,” McVeigh said.

“There’s always a risk but we’ve had players play with the same injury before.

“In saying that I’ve done everything possible that I’ve needed to and I’m absolutely fine to go.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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