K rock Football

Season over before it began for star Joey

St Joseph’s star Kieren Paliouras has suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament playing basketball. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

A KNEE injury suffered playing basketball has ended the 2020 season of St Joseph’s star Kieren Paliouras before it even started.

Scans have revealed the former skipper suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament during a match last week.

Joeys coach Paul Carson says the former Geelong and Werribee player was looking forward to this year after missing part of 2019 while on his honeymoon.

“He was looking really, really fit, and I know he was genuinely excited about the season ahead,” Carson said.

“He went down in a basketball game he plays with a few of the boys.

“Initially he didn’t fear the worst. He pulled up a bit sore and he thought he might have just twisted his knee.

“But scans confirmed on Friday morning he’s got a torn ACL.”

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Carson says Paliouras’ misfortune it’s a blow for St Joseph’s, which has farewelled premiership players Lucas Anderson, Jackson Davis, Paul Dreher, Curtis McCarthy and Brenton Rees during the off-season.

“He started the season last year really, really well – his first six or seven games were great, and we had the old ‘Kizza’ back in really good form,” Carson said.

“Then he went away on his honeymoon for 7-8 weeks and missed a bit of footy.

“But he was just starting to find his feet again late in the season.”

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Carson says Paliouras’ versatility will be missed.

“It’s a real blow because he can play forward, he can play through the middle, and he can even run off half-back,” Carson said.

“And he’s just a great guy to have around the group; his positivity and his outlook – everyone loves him.

“Hopefully, we can still keep him around the group and he stays involved because he’s a personality that doesn’t come along every day.”

In better news for last year’s preliminary finalists, Carson has confirmed the signings of Geelong VFL listed duo Kyle Gray and Nick Burke.

Gray is a key defender who has 43 games of VFL experience with both Frankston and Williamstown. He played last year with Mooorpna in the Goulburn Valley league.

Burke, who Carson described as a running defender, has spent the last two years with NAB League club Sandringham Dragons after attending Haileybury College.

Joeys will also have access to reigning Geelong Falcons captain and best-and-fairest Jesse Clark when he’s not required at VFL club Werribee.

Twitter: @tom_king79