K rock Football

Speedy gets his chance

GFL coach Clinton Wells (left) tells Grovedale star Nathan Deans the good news. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

NATHAN Deans will finally get his chance to represent the GFL after being a late inclusion in the team for Saturday’s 1v2 clash with the Eastern league at Etihad Stadium.

Despite being one of the competition’s most consistent players in recent seasons, including winning the Mathieson Medal in 2016 and finishing runner-up last year, the Grovedale midfielder has been unable to crack the final side.

However, the withdrawal of St Mary’s spearhead Tom Gillies due to hamstring soreness has opened the door for the 24-year-old to play.

Deans says despite being overlooked in recent years, he never gave up hope he’d get the opportunity to wear the blue and white.

“You’ve got to go into it (training) every time thinking you’ve got a chance,” he said.

“But, at the end of the day, there’s going to be people that are unlucky every year.

“You want to play, but that means there’s someone else that’s pretty stiff to miss out, too.

“The coaches have got to make their decision and you’ve got to live with it.”

Coach Clinton Wells pulled Deans aside early during last night’s final training session at St Albans to give him the good news.

However, the diminutive Tiger thought it might be to tell him he’d missed out again.

“I thought I was going to be emergency again when he called me out,” Deans said. “I was pretty shocked.

“When they said they were going to pick three emergencies, I thought when they were going to pull someone out that it was going to be me being an emergency.”

Deans is looking forward to play with some GFL stars that he has only had the chance of going head-to-head against.

“Definitely the midfield group; Jai Thompson, Matty McMahon, all those guys,” he said.

“They’ve just been the best players in the league for years on end, so it will be interesting to see how they go about it.”

Deans wasn’t the only late inclusion, with Geelong West big man Jye Bohm to make his GFL debut after Colac veteran Lochie Veale failed to get through training.

Veale suffered a broken nose in the Tigers’ win over Bell Park on Saturday, but after having it reset put his hand up to play.

However, he copped an accidental knock late in the closing stages of training and immediately ruled himself out.

Joining Gillies and Veale on the sidelines are North Shore coach Sam Darley (broken thumb) and Colac star Jonathan Simpkin (hamstring).

Twitter: @tom_king79

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