Right-back Marrone was replaced in the 73rd minute of the grand final against Western Sydney Wanderers on May 1 after rupturing his left Achilles tendon.
While he was as much a part of the season’s success as any player at the Reds, he couldn’t lap up the excitement with his teammates due to the intense pain of the injury.
Marrone told The World Game how different the championship-winning week was for him compared to what he had anticipated prior to the grand final had the Reds won.
“I was home by just after 9PM on grand final day,” Marrone said.
“I really couldn’t do much at the time, because of the injury. There wasn’t a lot of pain there at the end of the game, it just went numb, but about an hour and a half after the game it started to set in, it started to hurt.
“So that’s when I went home. We’d stayed in the change-room for a long while after the game, and there was a fans’ celebration at the ground as well. They got us up on-stage for that. But at about nine I caught a taxi home and that was it, because it started to throb.”
Adding to Marrone’s frustration was the fact his number came up for post-match drug-testing.
“It wasn’t my night,” he said.
“I had to get up the stairs after the game. We’d just got our medals and I was just walking around the oval with the crutches and I got the tap on the shoulder and was told I had to do drug-testing.
“It was done in a room in the grandstand and it must have been up near the top, because it was the longest flight of stairs I had to walk up. I had someone walk with me to make sure I got up there OK on the crutches.
“Having to go through the drug-testing isn’t much fun in a normal situation, but especially after you’ve just suffered a major injury.”
Marrone did have one victory when he managed to delay an operation long enough for him to be able to attend the club’s presentation night.
“I missed the Monday and Tuesday celebrations because of the injury and having to go to see the specialist and everything,” he said.
“They wanted me to have the operation straight away, on Tuesday, but I strung it out until Thursday morning because I wanted to go to the presentation night on Wednesday.
“I actually ran into the doctor on the Wednesday and he said I could have a few beers at the presentation if I wanted. But I didn’t want anything to go wrong, so I didn’t have a drink. I didn’t have a beer straight after the game either, because of the injury.
“Championships don’t come around too often, so for the game to end like it did for me, with a serious injury, left me with mixed feelings.
“I guess, when I look back, I’ve got a championship and I still managed to be among the boys to a certain degree after the game, but I did miss out on a lot of things during the post-game and the days that followed.
“I feel like I need to win another one now so I can enjoy it thoroughly, because that didn’t happen in the traditional sense.”
Marrone’s recovery is going well, hoping to return to the field during November or December and is gradually increasing his training load.
“I’ve been back running and doing agility and bio-metric stuff,” he said.
“I’d like to say I’m not too far off playing, but it’s really different with an Achilles because you just have to load up quite slowly.
“You do jogging for two weeks and then you do something new and you do that for a week or two. You add different types of loads and you do it slowly, otherwise you’re at risk of re-injuring it.
“But it has gone well so far, really good. I haven’t had any issues with running technique or anything, it’s all coming back together nicely. By the time the season rolls around I’ll probably be training comfortably.
“I won’t be involved in the early rounds. The doctors and physios are all saying towards the end of the year, but those are quite cautious timelines, so we’ll see.
“It all depends how we’re travelling, so we’ll just assess it week by week and if I’m feeling good we’ll do something new until I get to the stage where I’m in full training. Then, when the coach wants me to play, I’ll play.
“I’m really looking forward to that day.”