Magpie’s Beams hits AFL ton

By Ellie Grounds

Queenslander Dayne Beams has come a long away since he first took to the Mudgeeraba football field as a young boy in 1997.

The 24-year-old is gearing up to play his 100th AFL game this weekend when Collingwood take on West Coast at the MCG on Saturday.

Years of practice led up to Beams making his senior debut for Southport in 2007, aged 17, and representing Queensland at the U18 National Championships in 2008.

He then took a risk declining an offer with his hometown Gold Coast ahead of their debut into the AFL in 2011, instead hoping to be selected in the National Draft.

His gamble paid off when Collingwood drafted him with selection 29.

It’s been a bumpy journey to this milestone for the Magpies midfielder who had to sit out the first 16 weeks of the 2013 season due to a serious quad injury.

Speaking at a media conference in Melbourne on Thursday, Beams described his time on the sideline as “dark”.

“I had a pretty long year last year,” he said.

“When you spend 16 weeks on the sidelines, you go through a fair few emotions.”

Beams’ career was skyrocketing after a terrific breakout year in 2012 resulted in him becoming the competition’s leading disposal getter and winning Collingwood’s best and fairest award.

But he started to have doubts about his future when the injury, which was originally predicted to make him miss four to six weeks, saw him only make it on to the field for eight games last year.

“I didn’t know when I was ever going to be back playing and they (physios) went the ultra conservative approach after the third time.”

Despite impeding his 100th game, Beams said the injury definitely taught him to focus more on his body.

The rehabilitation and training he went through was similar to the treatment players who undergo knee reconstructions would receive.

“They trained me like I had a mini-ACL,” he said.

“I probably didn’t have as much attention to detail for my body as I do now, so it taught me a lot in managing my body.”

Despite the buzz around his 100th game, Beams is more concerned with the Magpies making up for their disappointing 21-point defeat at the hands of the Adelaide Crows last week.  

“I think Adelaide showed us up in all areas of the game,” he said. 

“Where we’d been playing well, Adelaide probably just brought that to the table and we were down in that area.

“It certainly wasn’t a good performance from us, so we’re looking to bounce back this week.”

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