K rock Football

Best back in brown and gold

Michael Best in action for Inverleigh in this year’s elimination final win over East Geelong. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

INVERLEIGH has received a massive boost heading into the 2021 pre-season with Michael Best returning to the club.

A three-time GDFL Team of the Year selection during his three seasons at the Hawks, Best was set to play with Doveton in the Eastern Football League before COVID-19 wiped out community football across Victoria.

Coach Adam Donohue is rapt to have Best, who finished third in the 2019 Whitley Medal, back in brown and gold.

“I’m on the record as saying his premium footy is arguably the best in the comp,” Donohue said.

“That might be biased, but when he’s at his best, he’s – in my opinion – the most damaging player.

“He’s got good speed, he’s a good ball-user, he takes the game on, he’s got confidence, and he’s a match-winner.

“It’s something we might have lacked this year (2020), so to get him back frees other people up as well.”

However, Donohue admits the Melbourne-based Best won’t play every game.

“We’ll just suck it and see; we’ve discussed him playing 14-15 games at this stage, all things going well,” he said.

“It really depends on how he’s going mentally (with the travel).

“Hopefully we smash out a few (wins) early, and if we happen to be in a good position, you can start to manage things a little bit.

“But, if we’re struggling we might need him a bit more.”

Inverleigh has also welcomed home former junior Jarryd Love.

Love played with the Hawks until under-16 level before heading to GFL club Bell Park to play Colts.

He appeared at senior level for the Dragons, while also spending two stints at BFL club Drysdale.

Donohue said Inverleigh wouldn’t commence pre-season training until restrictions are eased enough to allow large groups.

“We’ll organise some smaller groups until we get the all-clear,” he said.

“We’ll just have to wait-and-see on it.”