K rock Football

Seagull grounded

BARWON Heads will be without Leigh Sartori for its 2019 campaign after the key defender suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament at training.

Seagulls’ football boss Brendan Curry said scans confirmed the worst fears of Sartori and the club.

“It was the last training drill of the session and he took a mark; it was very innocuous,” Curry said.

“It didn’t look good, and he went in for scans the following day, and we received the bad news he’d torn his ACL.”

BFL: INS & OUTS

Highly-rated internally, Sartori was one of the unsung heroes as Barwon Heads booked a berth in its first grand final since 1993 last year before falling short of Modewarre in the decider.

“He was a real rock for the club at centre half-back, and he did a bit of pinch-hitting in the ruck,” Curry said.

“He’s just been getting better and better, so it’s very disappointing for Leigh because I think his best football is very much in front of him.

“All the boys have rallied around him … he’s a popular player.”

Curry said Sartori’s misfortune would open the door for someone else to hold down a key defensive post.

“We’ve got Brad Harvey coming into the club and he’s going to play as a tall down back,” he said.

“Mitch Gaunt, who came to the club last year mainly as a defender, didn’t play much defence; he played more forward.

“‘Dizzy’ (Dylan) Holland can also play as a key back, we’ve still got Sam Evans, and there are some other younger blokes who we think are emerging.

“So there’s plenty of opportunities there for blokes to put their hand up and grab that spot.”

BFL: PRACTICE MATCHES

Curry also confirmed Seb Kent and Lachie Slorach would make delayed starts to 2019 after off-season surgery, but said Wayne Barrett and Max Melzer are returning after not playing last year.

Barwon Heads will play practice matches against South Barwon (March 7), Colac (March 23) and Cobden (March 30) before an opening round trip to Modewarre.

Twitter: @tom_king79