K rock Football

Tom to call time again

JASON Tom holds the unenviable

Bannockburn veteran Jason Tom. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

 

WIN or lose, Sunday’s GDFL Grand Final will be Jason Tom’s last senior game of local football.

The veteran Bannockburn forward, who came out of a one-year retirement to play a role in helping the Tigers to the decider against Thomson, has committed to coaching the club’s under-19 team in 2020.

“I’ll dedicate my time to that, and trying to get some kids coming through at Bannockburn,” Tom said. “That’s how I’ll stay involved.

“I didn’t desperately miss running around and being sore for three days; I just missed the footy club.

“I think that’ll tie me up and should do me. I don’t have a burning passion to keep playing.”

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Tom has the unenviable record of playing in losing grand finals in all three local leagues – Geelong Amateur (2010-11), Leopold (2014) and Bannockburn (2016).

However, the 32-year-old says his return to playing this year wasn’t driven by the want to add a premiership to his impressive resume.

“The involvement in a club is what I missed after the year off,” Tom said. “To be brutally honest, I didn’t miss playing footy; I missed being part of the club.

“When you step away from a footy club, you realise how important it is in your life.

“Thursday night meals, catching up with the boys. Thursday nights now, I take my young bloke down, and my partner comes down and we all have dinner.

“It’s just that involvement in the community is what I missed.

“Keeping fit as well. You obviously keep fit playing footy, and my body still feels pretty good.

“A few boys got stuck into me during the year saying I came back chasing a flag, but that wasn’t the reason.”

However, now that Bannockburn is in a second grand final in four years, Tom is hoping the Tigers can cause an upset and send him out a winner.

“I was s***-stirring the Thomson boys when they were up by a bit in the fourth quarter of the (second semi) final that all four of the grand finals that I’ve lost, we had the week off the week before and were the raging favourites,” he said.

“So, I’m quite happy to be going in as underdog.

“And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out Thomson is the best side in the comp.

“But, I’ve been there before, and it doesn’t always give you the chocolates.

“They’ve got to come out and play their best footy to win, and they’re going to be coming up against us, who are going to be having a red-hot crack to try and put them off their game.

“Anything can happen, especially on grand final days.”

Twitter: @tom_king79
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