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Grounded Hawk finds perfect mentor

Enduring lengthy stints on the sidelines is nothing new for Hawthorn midfielder Alex Woodward.

The 22-year-old was struck down with his third ACL injury in four seasons while playing for Box Hill against Coburg last month.

“The day ended five minutes into the game,” Woodward told Channel 7’s #Discovered team recently.

“To be honest, I knew exactly what I did. It was a bad day to say the least” – Woodward on his third ACL injury

“To be honest, I knew exactly what I did. It was a bad day to say the least.”

But the 2014 J.J Liston Trophy winner – awarded to the VFL’s best and fairest player – is remaining positive, thanks in part to the ongoing support of former-teammate Max Bailey.

Bailey endured multiple reconstructions on both of his knees, but fought against the odds to become an integral part of Hawthorn’s 2013 premiership team.

“Maxy spent a fair bit of time on the sidelines with me. His background with his three knee injuries and all the hard work he’s been through, that just created a really good bond (between) us.”

Woodward is determined to get back and play football, inspired by the hope of ultimate success. With patience and support from the football club, Bailey believes that the young midfielder can do just that.

“One of the first things I asked him was ‘do you really want to go again?’,” Bailey recalled.

“He said, straight away, ‘yes’. I think as long as he wants to do that and the club supports him then he’ll make it back, no worries.”