Cat shows his mettle after breaking leg
“I tried to do the right things and play the right way” DARCY LANG
THERE are many AFL players who would struggle to get their head around the idea they could recover from a broken fibula in June in time to play finals.
Darcy Lang is not one of those players.
The 21-year-old fractured his leg against Fremantle in Round 14 and missed the next six weeks working his backside off in the recovery process.
He then played three games in the VFL but with the Cats flying at the end of the homeand-away season it seemed inplay creasingly unlikely he would earn a recall.
As the VFL season came to an end, Lang continued to push hard at training and despite the odds being stacked against him, never gave up hope that there was still a meaningful role for him to play in September.
“It’s just a lot of self-belief and that’s pretty much it, you’ve just got to have that belief in yourself to play,” Lang said.
“I didn’t get injured at a great time but through my rehab I tried to tick every box and when I was playing VFL I tried to do the right things and the right way.
“I worked on my contested footy and I knew the more I played and the more transition it would get better.
“They (the coaches) sort of just say to keep engaged. It’s very disappointing when you miss out on getting picked but you can’t drop your bundle be- cause things do happen and when you get your chance you’ve got to take it with both hands.”
Lang certainly took his chance against Sydney on Friday night.
A week after Geelong was touched up by Richmond, the first-round draft selection from 2013 was among his team’s best players on a night where there were few passengers.
Only Mitch Duncan (14) and Lachie Henderson (13) took more marks than Lang’s 13, and only Mark Blicavs (14), Scott Selwood (10) and Sam Menegola (eight) laid more tackles — Lang had six.
Those numbers speaks to his work rate and willingness to run and apply pressure, and while the 24 disposals were a bonus, what stood out was that even when the game was in Geelong’s keeping, Lang was still active late in the contest laying tackles deep in Sydney’s attacking end.
The former Colac junior, who is out of contract at the end of the season, said playing his first final was “pretty special” and that the Cats had never doubted they had the capacity to turn things around so quickly.
Geelong's Darcy Lang handballs as he is tackled by Sydney's Tom Papley during their AFL semi-final at the MCG on Friday night