Parkin mentors the comeback kid

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 06 Januari 2013 | 14.43

David Parkin has helped mentor Anthony Morabito in his comeback.  Picture: Daniel Wilkins Source: HWT Image Library

PREMIERSHIP coach David Parkin has emerged as an unlikely mentor in Anthony Morabito's remarkable comeback from two knee reconstructions.

Fremantle's forgotten No.4 draft pick has not played AFL since a sparkling debut in 2010, after twice tearing his left ACL ligament.Parkin has helped guide the 21-year-old through the emotional despair of two years on the sidelines.

The four-time Carlton and Hawthorn premiership coach praised Morabito's mental fortitude as the 191cm midfielder prepares to return to the Dockers line-up for the NAB Cup and potentially Round 1.

>> SUPERCOACH WATCH: Morabito is a $115,900 midfielder

"I tremble every time I hear his name because you don't want to find out that he has had another setback," Parkin said.

"I'm just hoping and praying he has a half-reasonable chance to prepare himself properly and continue what was an outstanding first year of league football."

In a horror run, the young Docker ruptured the ligament in the 2011 pre-season and then again during a training mishap last July.

Parkin, who has beaten prostate cancer, said Morabito had overcome some dark periods in his rehabilitation.

"I've kept in touch with him and he has had some miserable psychological downs, as you would expect of a kid of his age," Parkin said.

"To be between 18-22 years old and suffer what he did, emotionally you have to deal with that, and it gets you down, to the point where you may not recover physically, let alone emotionally.

"But he's been supported by (assistant coach) Simon Lloyd, who is probably just about the best young man I've dealt with in football, and had wonderful support from the club and his family."

With superstar captain Matthew Pavlich under a fitness cloud after back surgery, Morabito's power-packed game style is looming as a major boost to the Dockers' midfield and forward set-ups.

Priced at $115,900, the man likened to Swans game-breaker Adam Goodes is also looming as a bargain SuperCoach prospect.

The devastating ball-carrier averaged 13 possessions in 23 games in his first season and twice laid nine tackles in games against Geelong and Richmond."He has a big heart, fantastic endurance capacity, he has a strong body and to maintain the form he did through 23 games in his first season is almost unheard of," Parkin said.

"So we know the kid brings the total package."

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