Main content

Premiership Tiger impresses in VFL return

Dion Prestia impressed in his VFL return on Friday - AFL,Richmond Tigers,Dion Prestia
Dion Prestia impressed in his VFL return on Friday

PREMIERSHIP Richmond midfielder Dion Prestia has put his hand up for a senior recall after an impressive comeback from a hamstring injury in a VFL practice match against Box Hill at the Swinburne Centre on Friday.

Prestia was sidelined in mid-February for six weeks, but returned to pick up 19 disposals, eight tackles and five clearances while playing around three quarters of the match.

He could be an option to replace Josh Caddy, who has been offered a one-match ban for striking Adelaide's David Mackay.

"We had a scheduled amount of time he was required to play for. He played those minutes well and tackled well and got a fair bit of the footy, so that was a good outcome for us," Tigers VFL coach Craig McRae told AFL.com.au.

As to whether Prestia had done enough to demand an immediate recall, McRae was unsure.

"That's not up to me to decide," McRae said.

Another option could be Anthony Miles, who continues to push for senior selection, picking up 25 disposals, 11 contested possessions and a goal.

"He's clearly a better player than playing VFL football. He's just waiting for opportunity, as he did last year. We're very grateful to have him in our group but we understand that it's a challenging time for him because he plays well," McRae said. 

It was a match for returning players, with midfielder Nathan Drummond and ruckman Shaun Hampson coming back after long stints on the sidelines.

Drummond ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last April, and has previously suffered the same injury in his right knee.

"He played similar game time to Dion and it was good to see him back out there," McRae said.

Meanwhile, Hampson had a limited pre-season after dealing with a back concern. It gave him issues in 2017 as well, forcing the former Blue out of action for all but seven VFL games last year.

"That was Shaun Hamspon's first real hit-out for a while. He hadn't done any of the practice series or much of the training," McRae said.

"He played most of it forward. Just trying to get some minutes into his legs and allowed Ivan Soldo to remain as the main ruckman."

Backman Connor Menadue is also in form, finishing with 25 disposals, five inside 50s and four rebound 50s.

"Connor Menadue played his best game for a while. It's his second game in a row that he's played above VFL level. He's certainly someone who stood up," McRae said.