Rupturing his ACL as a Mariner with the AFL under-18 championship on the horizon was hard to comprehend for Launceston’s enthusiastic youngster Jack Donnellan.
However, the 20-year-old accepted it for what it was and is now pushing his way into the Blues’ strong midfield through hard work and determination.
Following a minor pre-season injury setback, Donnellan played his first game of the season last week in Launceston’s big win over North Hobart, and starred.
“I’ve had a pretty big pre-season working on my strength in the gym and pool. Sam (Lonergan) gave me the opportunity on the weekend to have a crack in the midfield and I want to take those opportunities,” he said.
“I’m full of confidence at the moment. I build my game around intensity and pressure.”
Donnellan, who has spent his five years at Windsor Park running off half-back, said he is relishing a new challenge.
“Going through the Mariners they set me up to be a running backman and I’ve enjoyed it, but now I want to open myself up to play more positions,” he said.
“I’ve had a bit of a hard time with my knees and doing my ACL so close to nationals it was quite challenging mentally just watching on and doing all the rehab is a long process.
“But it’s worth it and it’s starting to pay off.”
Lonergan said that Donnellan deserves his opportunities and that he is a likeable character around the club.
“Donza is fantastic. He’s an excitable person, he’s friendly and the playing group love him,” Lonergan said.