After suffering injury and missing out on being selected at last year's National Draft, Nathan Drummond is ready for a big season with the Murray Bushrangers.MATTHEW GALEA March 13, 2014 4:10am
Nathan Drummond has been bruised and battered, but he’s not defeated.
Drummond went into last year’s National Draft rated as a genuine chance of being picked up after testing well all year, but a lack of appearances for the Murray Bushrangers and Victoria Country at AFL Under-18 National Championships due to injury proved costly.
Missing out was just as painful as the bone bruising that proved so costly.
‘‘Last year was disappointing with the bone bruising through my ankle,’’ Drummond said.
‘‘That’s part of footy though, so you just have to move on and get on with it, and hopefully this year I can stay on the park which is important.’’
The nature of his injury meant recovery was long and, at times, testing.
‘‘It’s just something that takes a lot of time and while it can happen again, I’ve done the best I can to strengthen it while it was weak,’’ Drummond said.
‘‘I haven’t had any issues with it during pre-season, so I just keep it strapped and that’s just the best way to go about it.’’
While Drummond might have missed out, he saw a number of friends, including former Bushies teammates Jarman Impey and Nick Holman as well as best friend Zach Merrett, enjoy success in the draft, which has only made him hungrier.
‘‘It definitely increases that desire to make it and increased my motivation to work hard over summer and have a really hot crack,’’ Drummond said.
A big effort before pre-season had even started is evidence of that desire, and having put in the hard yards, Drummond feels he is ready to tackle his third season with the Bushies with everything he has.
‘‘There’s a lot of sacrifice that goes on over the summer and that’s probably when the cameras are away and people aren’t watching,’’ Drummond said.
‘‘It was pretty structured; I’d do four or five runs, three or four weight sessions, some cross-training and that sort of thing. If I’m feeling a bit tired I’ll do some more recovery.’’
Drummond said pre-season had been a bit different this time around, as he adapted to playing with a lot of players that were coming through the ranks beneath him during the past two years, but he sees it as another opportunity for growth.
‘‘I always like to think I can improve in everything that footy has to offer, even in the off-the-field stuff like leadership and stuff that isn’t skills stuff,’’ Drummond said.
‘‘I think a lot of kids would look up to me as someone that has played at this level and that they can bounce stuff off, so I’m happy to do that for them.’’
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