AFL 2018: St Kilda’s Nathan Freeman will make his AFL debut against the Western Bulldogs

THE wait is finally over for Nathan Freeman.
1718 days after Collingwood read his name out at Pick 10 in the 2013 National Draft, the injury plagued midfielder will finally make his debut.

On the same night Sydney defender Alex Johnson plays his first game since the 2012 Grand Final, the 23-year-old will run out against the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium.

It comes nearly five years into his AFL journey.

Freeman spent his first two years at Collingwood where he managed just four VFL games due to persistent hamstring issues, before being traded to St Kilda at the end of 2015 in exchange for a future season round pick.

Unfortunately for the boy from Dingley, his hamstring woes followed him from the Holden Centre to Seaford.

He travelled all the way to Munich, Germany twice to visit world renowned sports medicine expert Dr HansWilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt – who has treated everyone from Usain Bolt to Ronaldo – in attempt to change his fortunes, paying his own way on the second trip.

Those fortunes didn’t change straight away.

When he did his hamstring again in February, he looked a long way off breaking through for that elusive debut, perhaps further away than ever.

But just like he has done for the duration of his career, he didn’t throw the towel in.

He built his body up again and worked his way back in the VFL, where he has played 10 games since the start of May.

With his confidence growing with each passing week, Freeman has belted down the door at Sandringham in the past month, forcing Alan Richardson to finally put his magnet on the board after picking up 37 touches against Box Hill last Saturday.

423 players have made their debut since Freeman was recruited by Collingwood, four picks after the Magpies took South Australian defender Matthew Scharenberg, who ruptured his ACL for the third time last weekend — making the timing of his debut just that little bit more special.

Source : Foxsports