Week off proves crucial for Chapman - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Week off proves crucial for Chapman

By Roger Vaughan 16/09/2009 05:38:43 PM Comments (0)

The week off is always welcome for the winners of the AFL qualifying finals but in Paul Chapman's case the timing could prove crucial.

Thanks to another hamstring injury, the Geelong small forward had managed only one game over the previous four weeks when he returned for the win over Collingwood two weekends ago.

Chapman played without further trouble and then was able to concentrate on more hamstring work ahead of Saturday night's preliminary final against Collingwood.

"I'm feeling really good - I reckon the major worry is the second week after hamstrings, you can generally get through the first week, but the second week is the concern," he said.

"To have last week off was great, I've done heaps of work at training, I'm feeling great and ready to go."

Chapman also had well-documented hamstring trouble late last year and has worked hard to manage the injury.

He said it is a strain in the same part of the hamstring.

Chapman had kicked six goals against Adelaide in round 18 when the injury returned.

"I'd played every game, every NAB Cup game, I'd played 21-22 games on the trot," he said.

"It was actually from being sick that week, I missed training and then probably came out and trained too hard.

"So it was probably not doing too much work, it's actually not turning the legs over.

"It was a bit strange, you're always learning a little bit more about your body every year.

"I've definitely learnt something this year."

While the recurrence was frustrating, Chapman feels he is in much better shape than during last year's finals series.

He was rewarded for his solid form on Monday night when he was among five Geelong players to make the All-Australian team, the first time Chapman has received the honour.

"After last year, going through what I went through, I couldn't do that again," he said.

"It definitely takes its toll, not just physically but mentally.

"I tried some different things and went out and started training a bit earlier in my own time, it's worked well.

"I broke down four weeks ago, but that happens and you've just got to keep improving on what I do fitness-wise and always working on the hamstrings to make sure they're right."

Geelong's awesome team of the last few years have dominated All-Australian teams and Chapman said his selection is a reward for consistency.

"For all the hard work, it's a great reward ... the injuries have just hurt me a little bit, but I feel like I've been playing consistent footy for a while now," he said.

"This is a nice little reminder that I'm doing the right stuff.

"It takes time to become better and better each year.

"Sometimes you get overlooked and sometimes you get looked at ... I've been very happy with my year, obviously my teammates have given me heaps of support, we're all in it together."

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