Patrick Dangerfield keeps perspective as he stares down chance to claim elusive flag

A fit, firing and focused Patrick Dangerfield has never been in a better position to land an elusive AFL premiership, but he is determined not to overthink his second grand final.

Key points:

  • Patrick Dangerfield says he is keen to understand the occasion of the grand final, but to not “build it up too much”
  • Dangerfield recovered from mid-season calf problems to be fully firing in finals
  • He says adding a premiership to his glittering resume would mean “everything”

Dangerfield was part of Geelong’s team that led Richmond by 22 points in the second quarter of the 2020 grand final at the Gabba, only to lose by 31.

Two years on, the minor premiers will head into Saturday’s grand final against Sydney as favourites.

The 32-year-old said he and the Cats had learned not to magnify the occasion or put too much pressure on themselves.

“It’s a different team, it’s a different time,” Dangerfield said.

“You understand the occasion. You don’t try and build it up too much, because it is a game — we’ve played a lot of them this year.

“We know clearly what’s at stake.

“But it’s not making it so big that you feel insignificant compared to the task at hand. It’s keeping that front of mind.”

Patrick Dangerfield was best afield in Geelong’s preliminary final win over Brisbane.(Getty Images: Dylan Burns)

While keen not to overplay the occasion, Dangerfield underlined his delight at contesting another grand final.

“You’ve got to embrace the week and everything that it holds,” he said.

“It’s a privilege to still be playing this time of the year, not too many teams get the opportunity.

“So embrace and enjoy that part of it. It’s a special, special time to still be playing.”

The 2016 Brownlow medallist struggled with calf issues earlier this year and did not play between rounds 10 and 16 as the Cats got a heavy training load into him, eyeing a pay-off at the back end of the season.

The plan worked to perfection as Dangerfield racked up 28 disposals, booted two goals and had eight clearances in a match-winning preliminary final performance against Brisbane.

“It’s just good to feel fresh and ready to go,” he said.

Author: Ivan Robinson