Menzel keen to kick on
DANIEL Menzel says he hasn't felt as physically strong since before his four knee reconstructions as he urged a side to consider his exceptional football upside.
The former junior prodigy was this week delisted by Sydney and is aware some people believe he is washed up after four knee reconstructions and groin surgery.
Yet the 28-year-old has never felt better, the groin issues that date back six years finally remedied by surgery and Menzel no longer feeling any pain or limitation with his knees.
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He has been training fully since the end of the season and says for the first time in nearly a decade he will be ready to complete a full pre-season.
The former Geelong goalsneak, who kicked 40.16 as recently as 2017, urged teams to consider what he could do with a full summer under his belt.
He would be prepared to train with a team over summer, saying he genuinely was over his groin and knee issues.
"I did my first knee when I was 19 and I don't remember how I felt then but I can say I haven't felt this good in the last eight years," he said.
"I know I am an optimistic person but if I get a full pre-season in, which I didn't do at Geelong and Sydney, and actually get the body of work in with my body as good as it is, I can't see why I wouldn't reach my best form.
"I am not 30-plus, I still have all my power, I am still as strong and quick as ever, and if I can get an opportunity I definitely know I am good enough with the way I am feeling.
"I know people look at my story and say, four knees, the groin, why risk it? But at the same time, I don't have those issues, my groins are fixed and it's a one-year deal so the risk isn't there and if you look at my best footy, the rewards would be there."
Delisted by Geelong in 2018 after a double cortisone shot into his groin effectively ruined a blistering start to the year, he got to Sydney but was immediately in pain.
He couldn't push off in marking contests or hit top pace and the doctors prescribed the same surgery that Lance Franklin underwent that off-season.
"I had the surgery and I am so glad we had it. My groins were in a bad state with a lot of instability there and that fixed it all. It took away the pain straight away and I didn't get going with a fitness base but I finished the year strongly and have trained the last month and feel really good. I am pulling up so well from sessions. I have never really felt like this before.
"It just makes a massive difference not feeling my knees and groins."
He says the mental battles of the past eight years have been significant, finally able to put football in perspective by realising it is not the only thing that matters in his life.
"Our game is pretty heavily scrutinised and there is a lot of pressure and not a lot of time for patience. It is frustrating when you can only train a certain amount and it mentally drains you and it makes it quite miserable at times. You have got a mind battle every single day with yourself. It's really challenging and a really underestimated part of our game but not having pain in your day-to-day life has made me a much happier person."