Polak regains confidence after jitters - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Polak regains confidence after jitters

By Sam Lienert 23/08/2009 02:01:38 PM Comments (0)

Richmond's Graham Polak says his confidence has grown after making it through his first AFL game since his near-fatal hit by a tram 14 months ago.

The 25-year-old, who has recovered from brain injuries sustained in the incident last June, admits taking to the field against Hawthorn on Saturday night made him more nervous than when he made his AFL debut in 2002.

But, while he struggled to get involved in the game early and ended the match with just six disposals, he said it had been an important step.

"It took me a little bit to get my hands on the ball, but once I got my hands on the ball I felt right at home," Polak said on the Seven Network's AFL Gameday on Sunday.

"I got a lot of confidence back and really enjoyed being out there with all the boys again."

Most heartening was the way Polak threw himself fearlessly into a pack of players in the centre square in the second quarter.

He tackled Hawks star Luke Hodge then wrested the ball away, dishing out a handball which set up a Tigers goal.

"To do that, I knew it was my time to go and I'm good mates with Hodgey and to be able to do that to a great player as Hodgey was really exciting and brought confidence to me," he said.

The key-position player, who is out of contract at the end of this season, will get one more chance to prove himself when he returns to his native Western Australia to play West Coast on Friday night.

He is hoping he can impress Richmond officials enough to earn a chance to continue his career next season, but said he was yet to have that discussion with the club.

"I definitely want to play on next year," he said.

"I don't really want to talk about it at the moment with the club. I'd rather let my footy do the talking.

"If I can prove that I can still play the game then hopefully it will take care of itself.

"I'll leave that to my management to sort out with the club but I'll do everything I can on the field to get it right."

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