Travis Colyer says he ‘hit a bit of a wall’ in the early stages Thursday’s JLT Community Series opener against Collingwood.
The 25 year old was playing his first game in the red and black in 614 days.
“It was pretty tough that first five or ten minutes. I hit a bit of a wall,” he said.
“But then I got the pace of the game by the end of the first quarter and going into the second.
“It’s just so much more intense than training and you can’t replicate that kind of stuff.
“It’s the first game for me since July 2015 – I’m happy to get it out of the way.”
Colyer spent most of the match in the forward half and ended the game with nine possessions, two marks, two tackles and two goals.
The Bombers controlled most of the game, with the lead blowing out to 27 points in the third quarter.
The Dons rested Michael Hurley for the entire second half while Jobe Watson, Dyson Heppell and Matthew Leuenberger barely featured in the last term as the Pies staged a late fight back.
Colyer said the Coach John Worsfold was happy with the performance.
“[Worsfold said] There were a lot of positives to come out, we got what we wanted – apart from the win,” Colyer said of his Coach's post game message.
“The ball movement, the pressure in the forward line particularly in the third quarter was really exciting, the backs taking the game on and having a crack and then the ability of the midfielders to adapt.
“I think we were on top of the clearances until the last quarter so they were some really good positives moving forward.”
As well as adapting to the pace of the game, Colyer is also trying to develop some cohesion with new teammates.
Last night was the first time he’d played alongside Josh Green, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti and James Stewart.
And he’s played just a handful of games with Orazio Fantasia and Shaun McKernan.
But despite the limited time on the field together, the Bombers kicked 14 goals, nine of which came from small forwards (Colyer, Fantasia, McDonald-Tipungwuti, Green).
“It was really promising tonight, we’ve obviously played a little bit together at training, just trying to get that mix and combination,” Colyer said.
“At one stage in the last quarter we didn’t really have a ‘tall’ but it wasn’t daunting… we knew what we had to do.
“As much as we’re all smalls, we all bring something slightly different to that forward line and guys bobbed up and kicked a few goals so it was exciting to see.”