Finally fit: Jaeger’s footy to do the talking

Jaeger O'Meara is feeling good heading into the new season. Picture: Getty Images
Jaeger O'Meara is feeling good heading into the new season. Picture: Getty Images

JAEGER O'Meara believes he's "opening a new leaf" this year - free of the trade circus and knee problems that plagued his first year at Hawthorn.

The injury-cursed midfielder was restricted to only six games last year with a patella problem different to the knee issue that sidelined him for two full seasons at Gold Coast.

O'Meara has played only 50 games in five years, but said a better understanding of his latest knee issues had paved the way for his best summer in years.

"All is going well at the moment. I'm fit and ready to go, I've got myself into a good position, but I'm a realist. I know it can turn pretty quickly for me," O'Meara said.

"Hopefully I can keep my body feeling the way it is at the moment and we'll see what happens.

"I've done most of the pre-season. It's probably the most I've done for three or four years now and I'm excited about what's going to happen this year, but we'll get through the JLT games first."

O'Meara said on Tuesday he was unsure if he will play in the first of those pre-season matches, on Saturday against the Western Bulldogs in Ballarat.

But for the time being, he is just happy to be fit again.

"Hopefully this year there is something else to talk about," he said.

"I'd like to have played some more games."

Jaeger O'Meara was limited to just six games last season. Picture: Michael Klein
Jaeger O'Meara was limited to just six games last season. Picture: Michael Klein

When O'Meara did take to the paddock last season he impressed. He churned out a brilliant 36-disposal game against Adelaide in Round 2 before last year's injury and had 25 possessions and 11 tackles in the final round, giving the Hawks cause for optimism heading into 2018.

"Hopefully this year there's someone else to talk about. Obviously I didn't play too many games last year and I would have loved to play a lot more, so fingers crossed I can this year," O'Meara said.

"Coming to a new club, I had to get to know all the high-performance staff and players so it was adjusting to that. It obviously didn't work out, I got a bit of a hot spot in my knee cap and it took a while to figure out what that was.

"But now we know what that is I can manage it properly ... and hopefully I can for the season ahead.

"It's feeling really good, touch wood. I haven't had any soreness. I know everyone gets kind of obsessed with the strapping on the knee for some reason, but it didn't do much last year, it was more a mental barrier that I've now overcome and I did all my pre-season without it.

"Obviously I want to play as good a footy as I can for Hawthorn and coming in, the trade it was a big story how it panned out, but I'm not too worried about that stuff.

"I just want to focus on what I can control and that's manage my body well with the high-performance staff, play to the best of my ability and try to stay on the track."