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  1. #1
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    Western Bulldogs defender Marcus Adams finds his way back on a WA suburban ground

    There wasn’t another soul in sight when Marcus Adams broke free from the shackles that had tied him down for a significant portion of his first two years in the AFL system.

    He was back home, in comfortable surrounds among the vineyards at the sundrenched Swan Valley park where he began chasing his football dream as a schoolboy.

    There, the mental strain of two years wrecked by separate, yet similar, injuries on either foot dissipated.

    The pain of missing the Western Bulldogs’ famous 2016 premiership was an afterthought.

    It turned out the solo training stint at Baskerville Oval, home of Upper Swan JFC, over the Christmas break was exactly what Adams needed.

    “It’s nice, really. No one’s around,” the easy-going 24-year-old said.

    “Obviously I love the professional aspect of it here at the Bulldogs, but having cameras on you and the GPS and about 15 coaches out on the track watching you, you sort of feel a bit of pressure in every session.

    “When you’re on your own you go just as hard, but you don’t have that pressure on you. It’s almost like you’re a local footy player again. I do enjoy that.”

    A mature-age recruit from West Perth in the 2015 draft, Adams burst on to the scene as Luke Beveridge’s Bulldogs developed a ferocious, attacking style of play that would take them first into the finals, then on to a fairytale flag.

    Almost everything fell into place in a perfect September storm. But not for Adams.

    He had played 11 of the opening 14 games in his debut season before damaged Lisfranc ligaments in his right foot curtailed his chances of playing at the business end of the year.

    Fast-forward almost 12 months and the same happened again, this time on his left foot.

    In a quirk of fate, the strong and versatile full-back went down at the SCG on both occasions while standing Sydney superstar Lance Franklin.

    Frustratingly, the left foot would take longer than usual to heal, with Adams unable to train with the main group until last month.

    “It was around the Christmas period ... about seven months in, that I started getting a bit of clarity,” he said.

    In his short time at the Bulldogs, Adams had seen teammates Bob Murphy, Jason Johannisen, Clay Smith, Mitch Wallis, Tom Liberatore, Lin Jong and Roarke Smith, among others, sustain serious injuries. Wallis, Jong, Roarke Smith and captain Murphy also missed the 2016 grand final.

    “It’s human nature that you can feel like you’re the only one who’s ever gone through it before,” Adams said.

    “But especially in footy there’s always someone who’s gone through something similar.

    “Knowing that there’s other people going through it, you sort of feel more sympathy for them and you forget about your own worries.”

    Now refreshed and free of the mental baggage that typically accompanies long stints on the sidelines, Adams hopes it will be third season lucky as he looks to build on his 21 AFL games.

    He is targeting a return in the JLT Community Series next month in preparation for the Bulldogs’ season opener against Greater Western Sydney in Canberra on March 25.

    “On a personal level, after missing so much footy in the past two years, I’m just excited to get back out there and remember how to get a kick,” Adams said.

    “It feels like I’m learning how to play the game again. It feels like it’s been that long.

    “For a while I didn’t know when or if I was going to get back out there, so I haven’t looked too far ahead.

    “Last year I probably got caught up looking too far ahead and it sort of bit me a little bit because I had a pretty slow start. I was a fair bit behind the eight-ball right up until March.

    “I’m focusing on getting the most out of each session and trying to make the most out of every possession out on the track at the moment and every session in the gym.

    “It’s getting closer now, though, so it’s starting to come into your thoughts a little bit. But I’m just trying to keep it at the back of my mind.”

    Adams was open to a move back to WA at the end of 2016, and concedes the lure of home won’t ever go away.

    But he signed a three-year contract last May.

    https://thewest.com.au/sport/western...-ng-b88740534z

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  3. #2
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    Re: Western Bulldogs defender Marcus Adams finds his way back on a WA suburban ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog4life View Post
    Adams was open to a move back to WA at the end of 2016, and concedes the lure of home won’t ever go away.
    This is a worry for me. If Freo or West Coast go hard at him next time he is out of contract it sounds like he will be open to a move.

  4. #3
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    Re: Western Bulldogs defender Marcus Adams finds his way back on a WA suburban ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Axe Man View Post
    This is a worry for me. If Freo or West Coast go hard at him next time he is out of contract it sounds like he will be open to a move.
    Perhaps with Naughton developing, by the end of his contract we can at least cover him.
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

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