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Ceglar's sights set on Round 1

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 02: Jonathon Ceglar of the Hawks poses for a portrait during the Hawthorn Hawks official team photo day at the Ricoh Centre in Melbourne, Australia on February 02, 2016. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Jonathon Ceglar is eyeing a return in NAB 3.

JONATHON Ceglar has his sights set on featuring in Hawthorn’s third NAB Challenge match, as he looks to lock down a senior berth ahead of Round 1.

The 24-year-old ruckman, who played 14 matches last season, has recovered from off-season wrist surgery and has been gradually building throughout the pre-season towards the start of 2016.

“It’s been challenging, but it’s been a successful pre-season,” Ceglar told hawthornfc.com.au.

“I had a wrist operation at the end of the year, so that put me back a little bit, but I’ve been able to run for the whole pre-season, which has been good.

"It’s just been a little bit of footy stuff that I’ve missed, being in a cast and a brace.

“Post Christmas I probably ramped up the footy side of things, and the last two weeks I’ve been able to be fully training.”

While a minor finger injury kept Ceglar out of action against in the Hawks’ NAB Challenge 2 match against Richmond at the weekend, he’s confident he’ll be ready to take on North Melbourne in a fortnight’s time.

“That probably pushed me back one week, but the finger is fine now and I’m hopefully going to be right for NAB 3,” he said.

“Now I’m back into full training - I’ve got two weeks until NAB 3 - so it’s about getting two really solid weeks of training in.

“You’re always a little bit rusty for your first game, so it’s about trying to eliminate that a little bit by getting in as much quality training as I can.”

Ceglar’s 2015 season was an interesting one.

He was a permanent selection in the Hawks’ first thirteen matches – averaging 23 hit-outs and 12 disposals per game.

But Ceglar featured just once after Round 14, due to a combination of injury, and the Hawks’ match committee opting for the Ben McEvoy-David Hale combination at the business end of the season.

He’s returned to pre-season training determined to do all the right things, to hopefully go that next step in 2016.

“It was just about getting my wrist right (initially), and doing as much work as possible,” Ceglar said.

“If you do all the pre-season, it generally sets you up for a good year, so that's been my focus – to do as much work as I can and make it quality.”

With Hale’s retirement, a senior berth has opened up, and for Ceglar it’s been about working on his ruck work as well as playing up forward.

“I’m just mixing it up,” he said.

“Everyone in this side’s got to be able to play more than one position, so having that flexibility is key.”


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The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs