Wyld card claims rising star nomination

By Grant Hitzman

Morningside’s Michael Wyld continued his triumphant return from a shoulder reconstruction on Saturday, showing flashes of his career best form in a tight 22-point win over Surfers Paradise.

Wyld’s leadership qualities were the difference maker on the weekend, owning the backline to earn the Round 16 Rising Star nomination.

Morningside coach, David Lake, was full of praise for the level-headed 20-year, lauding his return to the top.

“After missing the whole of last year, he started slow when he came back, but it is so nice to see him move and lead with all that confidence he had before he got injured,” Lake said.

“Michael’s a direction giver, a pillar on the football field and in society, which for a 20-year old fella is outstanding.

“He owned that backline on the weekend, it’s personal to him, he is exact in his art of football and that’s what sets him apart from the rest.”

The Coorparoo Junior was much more modest in his game assessment however, stressing that there is still a long way to go in a return from a serious injury.

“I thought I played a solid game, getting back to some consistent form after an injury is always nice, but it is a long continual process to stay there and I’m aware of that,” Wyld said.

Wyld, who is now studying medicine at university, captained the Queensland U18 side in 2012 and was on the cusp of being drafted, in what was a stellar year for the key defender.

Ultimately, the AFL dream didn’t come to fruition, but it has proved to be a blessing in disguise for Wyld, allowing him to pursue a medical career.

“Obviously it (getting drafted) was a goal at the time, but it was a very interesting period because if  I would have been picked up, it was either footy or medicine,” Wyld said.

“With Morningside I can do both, and Lakey and the club have been fantastic and understand that footy is a part-time job and we have other career aspirations outside of it.”

Wyld continued to speak highly of the Panther’s culture, attributing the club’s 16-game winning streak to the players belief in Morninside’s values and vision.

“I think the major thing that keeps us winning is that every single one of us truly believe in the club culture and what Panther’s football stands for,” Wyld said.

“This is the best culture of any footy club I’ve ever been apart of, and everyone else involved at the club will tell you the exact same thing.

“When we stick to that culture during the game, we genuinely believe that we are the best team in the competition.”

Morningside have sewn up the QAFL minor premiership in 2014 and according to Lake will be looking to a flag, with Wyld as the anchor of success.

“For us it is about expectation now, not complacency,” Lake said.

“We just have to get the job done and keep playing the Panthers brand of football.

“Michael is a big part of that, he is part of our key leadership group and is a future captain of our footy club, there is no doubt about that.”

Morningside will take on UQ this week in the penultimate round of the season.

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