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Weekend Wrap: Round Ten

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AJAX goalkicking great cruelly cut down

 

AJAX endured a weekend from hell, with the seniors’ 75-point drubbing compounded by what could be a career-ending knee injury to one of the Jackas’ all-time greats, David Fayman.

The 29-year-old was returning from an ankle injury that he sustained in round four, and lined up in the reserves for the very first time in his storied 175-game career.

The six-time VAFA leading goalkicker moved well early and hit the scoreboard, but shortly after, disaster struck in the cruellest form. “I was running full tilt, the ground was very wet, a guy bumped me and everything twisted but my foot was stuck ... I heard a massive snap in the knee,” Fayman told The AJN.

The team doctor and physios rushed to his aid. “He was in a lot of pain, the stretcher came out and a few senior guys ran onto the field and helped carry him off, which was quite an emotional scene”, AJAX captain Nick Lewis said.

After a nervous few days undergoing X-rays and MRIs, Fayman’s and the club’s worst fears were confirmed on Tuesday with the shattering news that he had ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee, tearing both the lateral and medial ligaments, as well as a bone chip.

Fayman’s knee will require a full reconstruction, which typically is a 12-month rehab process. Shortly after finding out the news, a “gutted” Fayman said, “[This] could be the end, yes.”

If it proves to be, Fayman or “the Mailman” as he is affectionately known around the club and competition, will go down as one of the finest players to have ever donned the AJAX jumper. The remarkably gifted forward was always under-sized but used that to his advantage, reigning equally supreme in the air and on the ground.

With his vice-like hands he pulled down countless big marks and his wizardry around goal entertained for over a decade.

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His unrivalled footy resume is headlined by a record six Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA) goalkicking medals. Only he and one other can lay claim to have won four at Premier B level.

Fayman won back-to-back goalkicking gongs in 2010 and in the club’s famous premiership year in 2011 where he booted 94 majors including five in the grand final win over Werribee. He cemented his standing as a VAFA great with three consecutive goalkicking medals from 2012 to 2014 and a fourth in 2016 in Premier B.

Five times he kicked 10 goals or more including a career-best haul of 14 in an under-19s match. In his 175-game career for the Jackas, Fayman has amassed 611 goals – an average of 3.5 a game.

Bad to worse for wounded Jackas

ADDING insult to injury for the Jackas, the club finds itself back in the dreaded relegation zone after the weekend’s heavy defeat against University Blacks.

Mark “Choco” Williams’ men slipped from 7th to 9th and lost almost five per cent in the 120-45 loss. Making matters worse, fellow relegation battlers Old Haileybury pulled off a shock victory over top-four side Caulfield Grammarians to leapfrog the Jackas.

Despite the difficulty of witnessing David Fayman’s injury, the seniors stormed out of the blocks against one of the premiership favourites, not for the first time this season, with a scintillating five-goal to one opening quarter.

But the fadeout trend continued with their 28-point lead cut to a seven-point deficit at half time before the wheels truly fell off. Uni Blacks piled on the pain with a staggering 11 goals to none after the main break.

“I think Dave’s injury did affect the senior group a little bit, but it would’ve been nice to respond and do it for him ... he’s a bloody legend of the footy club,” AJAX captain Nick Lewis said.

Post-game, Williams focused on the positives which Lewis said “were beating the top side six goals to one, which shows that we are capable of mixing it with the best teams”. The negatives were “that we just can’t go the distance for the duration ... and
perhaps mindset ... which is really frustrating”.

Looking ahead, Lewis said, “The boys have set themselves up for a two-week challenge before the bye in July.” First up they face seventh-placed Mazenod at Gary Smorgon Oval on Saturday (2pm) who they lost to in round two by 34 points. The week after they face Old Haileybury in “the battle for Princes Park” in Caulfield South, which is likely to coincide with Jake Lew’s 150th game.

AARON FETTER - The AJN

SCORES:
Seniors – University Blacks 18.12 (120) def AJAX 6.9 (45) Goals: J.Lew 2, D.Rotenberg 2, A.Krakauer, B.Joel. Best: D.Janover-Rocha, R.Simon, D.Cohen, D.Rotenberg, B.Joel, J. Ludski

Reserves – University Blacks 7.9 (51) def AJAX 3.5 (23) Goals: R.Israel, A.Danby, D.Fayman. Best: B.Michelson, J.Yarrow, D.Rothschild, M.Voinsky, T.Rogers, A.Danby

Jackettes – Old Haileybury 8.8 (56) def AJAX 4.4 (28) Goals: C.Fisher, J.Caplan, M.Smart, H.Mel. Best: I.Burstin, A.Sekler, M.Smart, J.Gabriel, C.Fisher, M.Glikfeld

Thirds – Caulfield Grammarians 7.7 (49) def AJAX 4.6 (30) Goals: S.Brygel 2, M.Feiler, S.New. Best: E.Adelist, E.Debinski, D.Ellinghaus, S.New, S.Brygel, M.Feiler

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