K rock Football

Lane injured, Boag back

Jy Lane in action early in Newtown & Chilwell’s practice match against Leopold. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

A SERIOUS knee injury looks set to end the 2020 season of Newtown & Chilwell young gun Jy Lane before it even started.

The 21-year-old former GWS Giants Academy member suffered what scans are likely to confirm as a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in the Eagles’ practice match loss to Leopold at Deakin Uni on Saturday.

Coach Damien McMahon says it’s a blow for Lane, who played 17 games in 2019 after being restricted to just six senior matches in his first season at the club the year prior.

“He played really solid football and showed us exactly why we recruited him,” McMahon said. “He’s had a fabulous pre-season- he’s bigger, stronger, fitter.

“He’s no different to Alex Cincotta; similar age, similar position, and to lose both of them before the season starts is nothing short of devastating.”

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Lane wasn’t the only casualty for Newtown & Chilwell, with key forward Sam Nichols (face) and speedster Dane McFarlane (hamstring) failing to see out the match.

The Eagles initially feared Nichols had suffered a broken jaw, but he was cleared of any severe damage.

Matt Boag in action against Leopold. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

In better news for McMahon’s men, Matt Boag made a successful return from a shoulder reconstruction.

The quality midfielder last played in the opening round of the 2019 season.

“He got through, and we were really excited about Boagy’s game,” McMahon said.

“He found his feet in the second half and just seemed to get better and better the longer the game went.

“That was really exciting for us to see him back out there and looking fit and strong and healthy, and having the impact that he did.”

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Newtown & Chilwell also used the match-up with Leopold, which it meets in Round 1, to field several uncapped youngsters.

Among them were former Geelong Falcons’ Chas Karpala and Charlie Harris, under-19s graduates Connor Fopiani and Jack Dunstan, and reigning AFL Barwon under-19 Division 1 best-and-fairest Cam Wilkinson.

Wilkinson was given the task of rucking against star Leopold big man Trent West.

“We really went in with a youth focus and rewarding guys who had put in strong pre-seasons,” McMahon said “They’ll gain a lot from that experience.

“Some may play, and some mightn’t play in our first senior game. Time will tell.”

Twitter: @tom_king79