Sometimes the hard decisions in life are agonising to actually make, but are necessary for the long-term good for all involved. Sadly for Geelong’s Daniel Menzel the time has arrived where he and the Cats should come together and make the tough decision to retire from AFL football.

It is clear that the 21-year-old Menzel is an extremely talented player. He debuted for Geelong in round 20, 2010 and booted three goals in only his second game of AFL, putting him squarely on the radar as one of the young Cats to watch in the future.

His 2011 season produced 18 matches and he was on the verge of breakout success upon his first serious knee injury in the Qualifying Final win over the Hawks, forcing him to miss out on the Cats 2011 Premiership success. Since that point in time Menzel has suffered setback after setback on both knees, despite repeated surgeries and comeback attempts.

The latest occurred on the weekend in the VFL match against Box Hill Hawks, as his left knee that was reconstructed via the LARS method back in December was injured again, and is feared to require yet another reconstruction. This news must be devastating for Menzel and the whole of the football club, but sometimes sadly things are just meant to be.

As Menzel himself told Geelong based K-Rock radio in an interview, “there’s not a lot of hope there…There’s a lot of similarities (to the previous knee injuries).”

Quite possibly despite his wonderful talent, Daniel Menzel’s knees may just not be able to withstand the rigors of competitive AFL football and no matter how many comeback attempts he wishes to make, his knees will just keep failing on him.
As sad as retirement may seem, it must be remembered that Menzel at 21 is still a young man with a full life ahead of him and that there is in fact a life after football.

One only has to look back at Neale Daniher who suffered numerous knee injuries before calling it a day as a player in 1990, after 82 games in 11 years at the Bombers. At the age of 29, Daniher realised he would be better served within the coaching fraternity, firstly as an assistant to Kevin Sheedy at Essendon, then at the Dockers, before becoming senior coach at Melbourne in 1998.

For Daniel Menzel and the Geelong Football Club the time is now to accept the inevitability and announce that this latest comeback attempt and associated injury on the weekend was his last and that he will retire immediately, to become an assistant coach for the remainder of the year.

It is the least the Cats can do and would open up the possibility of a long-term career in AFL football for Menzel without actually playing.

Nothing would be worse than seeing Daniel Menzel attempt another comeback and suffering another heart-breaking failure yet again. To call it quits now is the best and most beneficial call for all concerned.


  1. I beg to differ, as a teenager coming back from about my 5th serious injury I always like to have hope that I will finally get over my injuries and be able to perform at my best! It something everyone hopes for, look at David Schwarz he had multiple ne reconstruction back in the day and age where medical knowledge and surgery was far inferior to what it is nowadays. Look at Lance Armstrong, before the drugs, he still returned from cancer and almost dying to become one of the greatest cyclists ever! Hell look at Jason McCartney! He was blown up and had over 50% of his body severely burned yet he inspired the world and made it back to play one last game of profesional sport (AFL)! Sporting history is litered with amazing comebacks! Anythings possible! Never give up! Pain is only temporary quitting lasts forever! I hope Menzel makes it back, even if it is only to play 1 more game before retiring.

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