LAUNCESTON, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 29: Alex Johnson of the Swans in action during the round five AFL match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Sydney Swans at Aurora Stadium on April 29, 2012 in Launceston, Australia. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

A weekend that is being touted as a feel-good fixture, the return of Swans defender Alex Johnson and debut of Saints speedster Nathan Freeman highlight a heartwarming round of footy.

In honour of the round, we have put together a best 22 of players that have overcome significant injury, scrutiny or hardship of any kind – the best feel-good stories in football today.

Here is Zero Hanger’s¬†best 22 feel-good stories of players currently in the league:



Alex Johnson (Sydney)

Six years and 12 knee operations later, Alex Johnson makes his long-awaited return for the Swans this weekend. Johnson’s last game for Sydney was the club’s 2012 grand final triumph over the Hawks, and it is fair to say every footy fan will be cheering him on against the Pies on Saturday.

Dale Morris (Western Bulldogs)

Dale Morris is one of the game’s most loved players. He has had to overcome a collection of injuries throughout his storied career and bounced back better every time. There is perhaps no player who deserved¬† premiership glory more than this man in 2016.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 01: Dale Morris of the Bulldogs celebrates with the trophy after winning the 2016 AFL Grand Final match between the Sydney Swans and the Western Bulldogs at Melbourne Cricket Ground on October 1, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Tyson Goldsack (Collingwood)

Tyson Goldsack has two claims to being a feel-good story. He came in for the Pies in the grand final replay against St Kilda in 2010 after missing the infamous draw to become a premiership player. But his story this year is perhaps greater. An astonishing six months on from rupturing his ACL, Goldsack is on track to return before finals, an injury that normally takes closer to a year to recover from.