Fully fit the Mayne aim for Dockers forward
Chris Mayne could be forgiven for refusing to deviate from the script or setting himself any lofty goals because he knows you cannot take your place in the game for granted.
Fremantle’s high-leaping forward was overlooked in the 2006 national draft after groin problems ruined his season.
And after fighting his way into the AFL via Perth, Mayne has continued to battle injury.
For the 22-year-old, 2011 shapes as the season where he could stop being talked about mainly in terms of his potential.
Having played 36 AFL games for an average of exactly one goal a match, Mayne is desperate to complete a sterling pre-season to lay the base for a full campaign next year.
“I’ve been working very closely with the fitness staff and physio staff to get the right program for me and everything’s going along smoothly,” he said.
Asked if his role could change next season as the Dockers consider going with a taller forward line courtesy of the additions of Jack Anthony and Jonathon Griffin, Mayne just wants to make sure he is fit and available in Round 1.
“I’m just basically focusing on the beginning part which is the pre-season, getting myself right, getting fit and strong, and leaving that decision up to Harvs (coach Mark Harvey) to see where he’d like to put me next year,” the 188cm forward said.
“I just like to do what I can that’s best for the team and sometimes that’s a mixture of everything. I still think there’s heaps I can add to my game in every single way.
“Just working closely with Pav (skipper Matthew Pavlich) and the rest of the forward crew and just trying to find out what’s best for me.
“I don’t really focus on goals. It’s not who kicks them, it’s how you kick them, so if I can be involved in an assist or the pressure around the forward line that’s what I’m happy about doing.”
Mayne played 14 games last year despite being slowed by a lower-leg “hot spot” problem for the second-consecutive year.
Despite scans clearing him of a shin injury following the first derby against West Coast in Round 6, he was eventually worn down by the beginnings of a stress fracture in his shin that saw him miss nine games in the second half of the season.
“It was unfortunate, but that’s what happens in footy. It was just literally bad luck,” he said.