K rock Football

Season over for Joeys recruit

St Joseph’s recruit Levi Nagorcka in action for Koroit in the 2016 Hampden league grand final. (Warrnambool Standard Image/Rob Gunstone)

REIGNING GFL premier St Joseph’s has suffered a blow ahead of the 2019 season with highly-touted recruit Levi Nargorcka suffering a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament at training.

Scans on Friday confirmed the worst fears of both Joeys and the 24-year-old Koroit product.

“It was Thursday night training and we were just about done, which always seems to be the case,” coach Paul Carson said.

“We were doing a little bit of competitive work and Levi just propped and stopped and turned and went down.

“Initially we were trying to work out whether it was an ankle or a knee, but straight away he said he heard the pop.

“We had him assessed straight away at the footy club, he was in to see the physio Friday morning, he had scans Friday afternoon, and unfortunately for Levi and the footy club, the worst news came through.

“It’s devastating for the young fella.”

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A four-time premiership player with Koroit, Carson says Nagorcka had impressed all at Drew Oval since his arrival.

“He was a guy I was getting really excited about,” Carson said. “He just looked he was going to be that perfect in-and-under, strong ready-made senior footballer.

“I realise he’s played in premierships at Koroit, but he’s a 24-year-old who moved like a 30-year-old, so he had a real maturity about the way he went about it.

“As a footy club, and me in particular, we were really excited to have him on board … we thought he was going to have an impact this year.”

Carson says St Joseph’s will look to create a role for Nagorcka on game days.

“He’s bought in straight away, and the guys love him – he’s a good, honest country lad,” Carson said.

“He’ll help ‘Butch’ (assistant coach Christian Shaw) out through the midfield.

“We really want to keep him involved because he’s relocated to Geelong and we want to keep him for years to come. We’d hate to see him go home because of this.

“We’ll do our best to put our arm around him and make him feel a part of everything as we can.”

Meanwhile, Carson has revealed co-captain Rhys Hultgren suffered a minor setback as he continues his recovery from a knee reconstruction in the middle of 2018.

“He’s battled a bit of soreness, but scans have cleared him any of damage to his knee,” Carson said.

“We’ve got him back on track and he’s probably prolonged his return only a couple of weeks.

However, Carson has stopped short of putting a timeframe on Hultgren’s comeback.

“We’d rather him play the back half of the year than rush him in in the early stages; there’s no need,” Carson said.

Carson has all but ruled out Reid Adams from the Round 1 match-up with St Mary’s after a hamstring issue that ended his 2018 season early flared again after Christmas.

“They’ve got a really good plan in place now,” Carson said.

“They’ve diagnosed exactly what was going on there; there were a few underlying issues.

“He probably won’t play Round 1, but I wouldn’t think he’d be too far after that.”

Twitter: @tom_king79