Daniel Menzel has been delisted by Geelong. Picture: Michael Klein
Daniel Menzel has been delisted by Geelong. Picture: Michael Klein

Cats great slams Menzel sacking

GEELONG legend Jimmy Bartel has backed dumped Cat Daniel Menzel to find a new home, believing his reputation as a non-tackler unfairly stamped his papers.

The unrestricted free agent was given his marching orders on Wednesday after four knee reconstructions and 73 games for Geelong.

Menzel, 27, was one of only 21 players in the competition to kick 100 goals across the past three seasons and was fifth in the Coleman Medal this year before a failed groin injection cruelled his year.

He missed Rounds 6-16, with his manager Adam Ramanauskas saying he had "cortisone leaking into his bones and all sorts of things".

For all Menzel's gifts he was ranked as the worst pressure player in the competition of all general forwards and the worst tackler of the mid-sized forwards in the past two years.

But Brownlow medallist Bartel said he was bemused the Cats had sacked him when others in the same forward line had failed to hit the scoreboard.

Daniel Menzel was fifth in the Coleman Medal before injury interrupted his season. Picture: Michael Klein
Daniel Menzel was fifth in the Coleman Medal before injury interrupted his season. Picture: Michael Klein

"I am surprised they have done it, but the positive thing is that maybe now another club will now take him as a delisted free agent,'' he said.

"The confusing thing for me with Dan Menzel is that he has played 50 games over the last three years, more than some blokes who get carried on some other lists, and he averages two goals a game.

"I'm not sure why he has to always bear the brunt for tackling pressure in the forward line.

"Nobody else is tackling and nobody else is kicking goals. You have got guys in the forward line who don't kick goals and don't tackle either. At least he does one aspect well. I hope a side does pick him up."

St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs have already considered but overlooked Menzel during the free agency period, with no club yet emerging as a suitor.

Rival clubs have several more free agency periods to select him as a bargain-basement player or even as a rookie until March 15.

Bartel believes there are clubs where Menzel could fill a hole as a cut-priced goal-kicking forward with experience and a nose for goal.

Dan Menzel has been culled from the Cats.
Dan Menzel has been culled from the Cats.

"He was fifth in the Coleman before an error that wasn't his fault. An injection in the groin stopped him in his tracks," he said.

"But I probably saw it coming after the long, drawn-out battle in trying to get a contract last year.

"For somebody who kicks two goals a game he is well and truly under market average pay.

"I am not finding many other 40 goals kickers a year at other clubs."

The Cats also delisted half-forward Jordan Murdoch after 108 games and six finals.

Geelong football boss Simon Lloyd paid tribute to Menzel in a brief statement.

"Dan's perseverance and resilience to undergo four major knee operations and come back the way he has is a credit to his workethic and mental toughness," Lloyd said.