K rock Football

Veale to wear Big V after passing fitness test

Lochie Veale in action for Colac against Bell Park in Round 5. (Marcel Berens Sports Photography Image/Marcel Berens)

COLAC ruckman Lochie Veale will be among six GFL players to represent Vic Country in Sunday’s clash with Vic Metro at Ballarat’s MARS Stadium after proving he had overcome a minor groin injury.

The 33-year-old underwent a fitness at Anthony Costa Oval on Friday afternoon under the watchful eye of physio Chris Stewart and was given the green light to pull on the Big V for the first time.

“Chris put me through my paces with a lot of running and sideways and agility stuff,” Veale said.

“To be honest, it was the first time I was nervous about something for a long time.

“I got through it unscathed, which, mentally, is good for me.”

Veale proving his fitness means Ocean Grove big man Andrew Jarvis was left out of the final team.

He admits he hadn’t given much thought at getting the chance to wear a Victorian jumper so late in his career, especially after being a late withdrawal from the GFL squad that lost to Eastern in May.

“The first thing I said when (coach) Danny Frawley rang me was “surely there’s someone else in the state that can fill my shoes? But if you I want me to play, I’ll play for sure,” he said.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity, and when you’re at my age when these opportunities come up, you’ve got to grab them, whether this my last year, you can’t guarantee it will happen again.”

Veale will be joined in the Vic Country team by Tigers teammates Ryan Monaghan and Zac Zdybel, Leopold star Tom Ruggles, Bell Park defender Todd Stevenson and St Mary’s young gun Jack Blood.

He says he’s looking forward to playing alongside Monaghan and Zdybel at a higher level.

“I’m excited for Zdybel to be named centre half-forward, which proves how far he’s come in a short period,” Veale said.

“Me and ‘Monas’ will be starting on the bench, and we’ll rotate on the ground pretty quick.”

Twitter: @tom_king79

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