A Wangaratta player who was told by supporters to write off the season is on the verge of snaring an unlikely grand final berth.
Matt Hedin has battled back from two serious knee injuries and is now an important figure in Sunday’s preliminary final clash against Wodonga Raiders at the Albury Sportsground.
“It was probably only two and half months ago max (maximum) that I thought I could get back,” he said.
“I was thinking if I can get back and just play reserves for the rest of the year .
“But there were a few people who shot it down, just supporters saying have this year off again and reload for next year.
“For three-four weeks I really ramped it up and rolled the dice.”
And Hedin’s late season comeback couldn’t have been timed better.
The Pies lost three gun forwards, including two bigger players, last year and there was a feeling if star forward Michael Newton could be stopped, the premiers might lack firepower.
There were a few people who shot it down, just supporters saying have this year off again and reload.Matt Hedin
However, Hedin has been manufactured from a 2016 defender to a dangerous 190cm forward.
“I guess with Josh (Porter) and big Tom Whittlesea leaving, they thought we had a bit of a hole across half-forward there,” he said.
“Coming back the plan all along was to play forward.”
Despite his injury concerns, the Pies retained the 23-year-old as vice-captain.
“It was obviously an honour and they showed great faith in me, it was the ultimate show of trust from ‘Stoney’ (coach Dean Stone) I guess,” he said.
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