Horlin-Smith Wins Norm Goss Medal
When a player misses football with injury, a want to return and play well is always at the back of their mind.
Geelong’s George Horlin-Smith was one player who was all about redemption, after a 2011 season littered with injury.
Shoulder problems and other injuries restricted the 19 year-old to just nine VFL games last year and coming back to play in a premiership was a great reward.
“It’s amazing, it’s still a little bit surreal and I guess it’s just reward for really hard work this season from the whole group,” he said.
“To win a premiership with all these other young guys and some of the senior boys who have invested so much time into us, it’s really great for the club.”
Horlin-Smith made his AFL debut in round three against North Melbourne, but is focussed on improving his game and pushing for greater opportunities next year.
“Hopefully at some stage (I’d like to) play some more games, but at the moment it’s just about improving my game.”
“I’m happy to just contribute and improve from week to week.”
With stars like Jimmy Bartel and Joel Selwood supporting from the stands, it was a great sign of club unity at Geelong.
David Wojcinski had a strong influence on the younger players as he signed off on a stellar career in the blue and white hoops.
“You’ve got senior guys coming back and playing for us, guys like Shannon Byrnes and David Wojcinski who have played a lot of AFL footy,” Horlin-Smith said.
“For them to come back in and play the way they do, and lead from the front has been fantastic.”
Geelong’s win was its third premiership since forming their standalone VFL side in 2000, following success in 2002 and 2007.
It was also the first premiership for rookie Cats coach Matthew Knights, who had previously coached Bendigo during his time as a development coach with Essendon.
By Ben Carbonaro