Harley Bennell is in Melbourne as he prepares to join training at Melbourne. Picture: Getty
Harley Bennell is in Melbourne as he prepares to join training at Melbourne. Picture: Getty

‘Emotional’ Bennell has Demons excited

AN emotional Harley Bennell has successfully started running again as the former Docker and Sun aims to revive his stalled AFL career at Melbourne.

While the 27-year-old is unable to officially start training with the Demons until December 3 due to AFL rules around delisted free agents and the pre-season supplemental period, he has already relocated to Melbourne with his partner and child.

Bennell successfully went for his first run in five months on Tuesday after multiple bouts of surgery on his troublesome calves and has started working with Melbourne's medical team, led by world-renowned fitness guru Darren Burgess.

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The Demons have a program in place to ease the former No.2 draft pick back into training once he can officially join the rest of the players next week.

 

"It's still a little bit unknown but he's had an operation where he's had both the plantaris, which is the muscle down the bottom of the calf, taken out," Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin said.

"Our medical team and Darren Burgess is involved, who's had some experience with that in soccer with some success, and that's been more around the healing of the achilles.

"It's still a little but unknown but Harley is feeling really confident in it and his first run was successful."

Can Harley Bennell play some footy next year? Picture: Daniel Wilkins
Can Harley Bennell play some footy next year? Picture: Daniel Wilkins

Goodwin has met with Bennell "three or four times" and been struck by the speedster's determination to still carve out an AFL career.

It has left him buoyed by what Bennell can potentially offer his side in 2020.

"We're really excited about Harley. He's certainly trying to really turn his life around and put a step forward. We speak about the love of the game, every time I've caught up with Harley, he's 27 and he's still got a love of the game," Goodwin said.

"He's emotional about where his footy has been and where he wants it to get to and he doesn't want to waste it. We want to give him that opportunity to train with us, prepare as best we can knowing it's going to be a journey.

"It might take time to get his calf right and not be ready for round one, he knows that, but jeez he's got a love of the game."

News Corp Australia

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