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O'Meara a-okay

hawthornfc.com.au  December 5, 2017 11:16 AM

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"I’ve taught myself to block out [the media speculation] and stay focused on what I need to focus on."

His first 12 months at Hawthorn didn’t exactly go to plan, but fans will be happy to hear that Jaeger O’Meara is back on track and “feeling good”. 

The speedy midfielder didn’t miss a beat on Day 2 of pre-season training camp in New Zealand, completing 100 per cent of the skills, touch and running sessions. 

“The knee’s feeling really good,” O’Meara said, after coming off the track. 

“I’ve been able to do most, if not all, of the program so far. 

“It’s obviously early days in the pre-season, so I’m keeping a lid on it, but it is feeling great and I’m really happy with how it’s going.” 

O’Meara played the opening three rounds of the 2017 season, before a knock to the knee kept him sidelined for the best part of four months. 

The injury garnered plenty of attention from the ever-present Melbourne media, with some questioning whether the 23-year-old would ever play football again. 

But, O’Meara learnt quickly how to dull the white noise and focus on the task at hand. 

“Obviously coming from the Gold Coast and not being too involved in the media bubble, so to speak, it was a bit different for me. 

“I’ve learn to deal with it. It took a bit of getting used to when I first arrived at the club, but I’ve taught myself to block it out and stay focused on what I need to focus on.”

Catch up: Camp gallery - Day 1

Silencing his critics in the best way possible, O’Meara made an impressive return for the final two rounds of the year, even managing a lone Brownlow vote for his 25 disposal, 11 tackle performance against the Bulldogs in Round 23. 

Ever modest, he wasn’t concerned about the individual accolades, rather being able to contribute to his teammates on the field.

“I wasn’t too worried about the Brownlow vote, I was just happy to get back out there and make a contribution to the team,” O’Meara said. 

“It was a really good way to finish the season.”

So, what’s next for the 2013 Rising Star winner?

“First and foremost is getting through this camp. 

“Then we’ve got a few weeks before our Christmas break, so I’ll try and put in a good block of training before then.

“And obviously, the main goal is to play as many games as possible in 2018, but I’m just taking things slow and crossing each hurdle as they come.