I'll be back for Demons in 2008: Neitz - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

I'll be back for Demons in 2008: Neitz

22/04/2008 05:35:24 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne's terrible start to the AFL season helped convince captain David Neitz not to retire immediately, despite the neck injury which will take a sizeable chunk out of his final year.

Neitz, set to miss at least eight matches after aggravating a pre-existing problem during Sunday's loss to Carlton, admitted it had prompted serious doubts about his future.

"Coming off the ground against Carlton with just a standard tackle having that sort of effect on me, not being able to play for the rest of the game, I just wasn't sure whether I could trust my body any more," Neitz said.

But, after discussing his future with coach Dean Bailey and football manager Chris Connolly, he is determined to return, partly because he does not want to bail out on the Demons in their time of need.

"There's been some questions about why go on and why bother and things like that," Neitz said.

"Part of what that is is to still be there and still be involved when the club's not in such a great position.

"That's for me and that's for our supporters and for every Melbourne person out there, is to stay involved.

"The club's not in a great position at this point in time but we will get better, we will survive and thrive in this competition.

"But we need everyone, all hands on deck, at the moment and that's what I'll be doing ... getting myself in a position where I can get out there on the ground and help out my teammates."

Neitz said he had no regrets about his decision to play on this season and it was only after the weekend's incident that he decided this would be his last year.

But he was confident both he and the club - who have performed dismally in losing their first five games - could end the season on a bright note.

"My intention is to get myself right and get myself playing again and get myself to a stage where I can be a part of the next stage of the Melbourne Football Club," he said.

"At the moment the first part of the season hasn't been how we would have liked but I've got no doubt that as the season progresses our fortunes will start to change.

"Over the next eight weeks I want to try to help Dean where I can, help Chris where I can ... and then to be able to get out there and be a part of the Melbourne Football Club turning the corner.

Bailey said no decision had yet been made on who would fill in as captain, but replacing Neitz as both a player and a leader would be an enormous challenge.

"I'm not sure anyone can replace him because he has unique gifts," he said.

"Players of his talent and where he stands in the game are very unique."

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