He’s had two years in the wilderness through injury and he has fought back really strongly
Senior coach Ross Lyon says Viv Michie’s comeback from two years out of football is “way ahead of schedule”.
Stress fractures in Michie’s right foot early in both the 2011 and 2012 seasons robbed the 21-year-old of an opportunity to make his name in the game after Freo had selected him with pick 44 in the 2010 National Draft.
Michie’s excellent WAFL form this season saw him included in Freo’s extended squad for the round 9 game against Melbourne at Patersons Stadium.
While he didn’t make the final 22, it was an indication that the Victorian was on track to earn an AFL debut.
Lyon has been impressed by Michie’s performance this season, both on the training track and at Peel Thunder.
“He’s had two years in the wilderness through injury and he has fought back really strongly,” the senior coach said.
“He’s averaged 10 clearances a week with Peel.”
But Michie, who is in the final year of his current contract, had to prove to the club that his foot would allow him to train at full capacity.
“We knew if we couldn’t get him the full load, he was no chance to play AFL football because he couldn’t prepare in the manner required for an elite AFL midfielder,” Lyon said.
“He’s handled the full load and he hasn’t missed a session, so his durability has been right up there.
“We knew it was going to be a two-year build, but he’s way ahead of schedule.”
Lyon added that Michie lost none of his footy ‘smarts’ while he was on the sidelines.
“The ability to find the ball and his decision making didn’t disappear, and physically he’s coming along at the rate of knots,” he said.
Michie has also called on Lyon’s immense knowledge of the game for some guidance.
The senior coach was this week presented with AFL LifeMembership for his involvement in more than 300 official games.
“Every week Viv will come in and show me how his running is going, where he’s at, and we have a conversation just to help guide him through,” Lyon said.
It may now be just a matter of weeks before Michie’s incredible perseverance and desire to reach his AFL dream is realised.
Lyon lauded his midfielder’s effort to get there, and used Michael Walters’ rise up the ranks as an example of the dividends hard work can pay.
“Just like Michael, we provide the environment and the direction, and they get to work,” he said.
“Viv has certainly done that.
“Hopefully, at the right time, he gets an opportunity.”