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Macreadie impresses in return

Cristian Filippo, Carlton Media  July 30, 2018 3:59 PM

VFL Highlights | Round 17 Watch the highlights from Carlton listed players in the Northern Blues' Round 17 match against Frankston.

A FORTNIGHT ago, Harrison Macreadie spoke of his positive mindset as he attempted to put a frustrating run with injury behind him.

That interrupted run came to an end at the weekend, as the young defender made a successful return to action following a hamstring injury which has plagued his 2018.

The second-year Blue made his return on managed game-time for the Northern Blues, settling in well as the side recorded its biggest win in three seasons.

Macreadie collected 11 disposals and a couple of marks in the backline during Northern’s 82-point victory over Frankston.

Northern Blues senior coach Josh Fraser was complimentary of the returning Macreadie, in what the defender's first game since May.

“He came back on allocated game-time and showed his ability to compete in the contest, win his own footy and use it quite well,” Fraser said. 

“Most importantly, he got through the game unscathed and he’ll continue building from here.”

After a pair of quad injuries interrupted his pre-season, Macreadie injured his hamstring playing against Port Melbourne in Round 4 of the VFL season.

He returned from a month’s layoff against Essendon in Round 8, before injuring his other hamstring in the second quarter. 

The win against Frankston was his first game since then, and his first win of any kind since Northern’s last victory of 2017 over 11 months ago.

“Harrison’s a guy that has had AFL exposure, but has endured a really inconsistent run at his footy in the last 12 months,” Fraser said.

“Hopefully he can string some games together in the final month of the season. You don’t know what’s going to present itself between now and the end of the year.”

Macreadie was joined by Sam Kerridge (26 disposals) as returning Blues in the VFL, as Northern recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this year. 

Remarkably, the pairing made up two of nine changes to the winning line-up from the week before, with the VFL Blues dealing with a number of alterations to the line-up by the week.

“The effort shown by our players all year has been really pleasing,” Fraser said.

“It’s been our challenge all season to have consistency and synergy with our group, but as a coaching staff and playing group, we have viewed it as an opportunity to grow.

“It’s a challenge we’ve faced at VFL level and something that ‘Bolts’ (Carlton senior coach Brendon Bolton) and the AFL coaching staff have faced in the AFL as well. There’s been a number of changes by the week but we believe that those circumstances will pay us back going forward.”

The Northern Blues take on the Casey Demons at Casey Fields this Saturday from 2pm.