K rock Football

Another step forward for Sav

Geelong big man Esava Ratugolea. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

ESAVA Ratugolea has taken another significant step forward in his return from off-season surgery on the serious leg injury suffered during the 2018 season.

The Geelong big man has joined in competitive training for the first time this week, giving rise to hope the 20-year-old will feature early in 2019.

“He’s been very diligent with his rehab and he’s back into the footy, now,” assistant coach Corey Enright said following a session at Deakin University’s Elite Sports Precinct on Wednesday morning.

“It’s pleasing to see the big fella back out there, and it looks like he hasn’t lost anything – probably gained a few tricks along the way.

“… he’s tracking along really well. He’s into footy, jumping at the ball and doing things Esava does.

“It’s obviously a big year for him and I’m looking forward to seeing play next more.”

Ratugolea, who played eight games and kicked seven goals before suffering a broken ankle in the Round 10 win over at GMHBA Stadium, will play a key role in a new-look Geelong forward line.

Enright, who will again oversee the Cats attack will also have off-season acquisitions Luke Dahlhaus and Gary Rohan at his disposal.

“Those two guys coming in are senior players, and probably the knock on us last year in the forward half was that we had a lot of inexperience and younger kids who were still learning the game,” Enright said.

“When you’re learning the game and playing as a forward, sometimes it can be hard.

“Those guys have come into the program and from day one they’ve been energised and they’ve added stuff to our group already.

“You can see a real excitement with the players that are going to play with them.

“Both Gary and Luke bring what we’ve been craving a bit with senior bodies, but also durability and ability put pressure on the opposition.

Click below to listen to the Corey Enright media conference in full.

Twitter: @tom_king79