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Macaffer returns against the Roosters

Sam Gastin  August 15, 2015 7:29 PM

Brent Macaffer played three quarters in his first game back from an knee reconstruction. Photo: Shane Barrie.

Brent Macaffer played three quarters in his first game back from an knee reconstruction. Photo: Shane Barrie.

Normality finally resumed for Brent Maccaffer as the umpire held the ball aloft and the siren sounded to begin the second quarter at Victoria Park on Saturday afternoon.

Macaffer jostled with his North Ballarat opponent in the middle of the ground, locked eyes with ruckman Jarrod Witts, and prepared to resume his football career.

Witts won the hitout, Macaffer pounced on a Ryan Bastinac fumble and gathered cleanly. He shot out a quick handball to Matt Scharenberg and let out an internal sigh of relief as Collingwood got the first clearance of the quarter.

“It was straight away. The first clearance of the second quarter I got my hands on,” Macaffer recalled.

“That was nice just to get my hands on the ball straight away and get that over and done with and move on,” he told Collingwood Media post match.

The 2010 Premiership player has had to wait a long time to return after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament against Greater Western Sydney in round 22 last year.

After a setback which required hamstring surgery, Macaffer was named to make his return at half forward in the VFL Magpies clash with North Ballarat at Victoria Park.

However he was made to wait just a little longer.

“I sat out the first quarter and came on in the last three quarters and that was great,” Macaffer said.

“It was much better than having to sit out the last quarter and have to watch what would happen.

“But there was a little bit (of nerves) just sort of sitting there. The boys were under the pump in that first quarter and sitting there and not being a part of it and getting involved was tough.”

While disappointed in a game that saw North Ballarat walk away eight-point victors, Macaffer had nothing but positive words to describe the feeling of being back on the field.

“It was great to be back,” he said.

“Obviously it’s been nearly twelve months to the day so it’s great to be running around with the boys and just enjoying footy again and being out of the rigours of rehab.

Putting into context how long Macaffer has been out is the fact that his only complaints coming out of the game were of the blisters he encountered on his feet from being back in footy boots.

However the 26-year-old stated post match that his troubled knee and hamstring recovered well from the three-quarter performance.

“I’ve pulled up really well,” he said.

“My feet are a little bit sore from running around. They’re not used to wearing the footy boots for so long. But the knee has pulled up fine and the hamstring has pulled up fine.”

VFL coach Dale Tapping had nothing but praise for an “excited” Macaffer.

“He was good. He’ll only grow and get better,” Tapping told Collingwood Media.

“It was a promising return and he’ll build on that in the next few weeks which is exciting for him.”

According to Macaffer, its a few weeks which could be the beginning of a promising finals campaign for the young VFL Magpies.

“Hopefully this VFL side can be a part of something special,” he said.

“Hopefully we can go deep into September and then who knows what can happen.”