K rock Football

Is West return permanent?

Leopold ruckman Trent West puts pressure on his Geelong West opponent in Sunday’s GFL reserves match. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

LEOPOLD coach Garry Hocking is unsure whether Trent West’s appearance in Leopold’s reserve grade team was a one-off or part of a return to action that could boost the Lions’  hopes of GFL success.

The Geelong premiership ruckman, who joined the Lions in 2017 following a 70-game AFL career across the Cats and Brisbane, answered a call from Leopold after it was hit by a shortage of players in its 12 o’clock team.

The 34-year-old influenced the contest, winning the majority of hitouts and giving Leopold’s midfield first use.

“We’re 9-3, so we sort of haven’t missed him too much,” Hocking told K rock Football. “I’m not being facetious there at all.

“There’s conversations to be had – we’ll just see how he pulls up. We’ll give him the time and the space (he needs).

“We’ve still got (Kyle) Bumpstead to come back, and he’s done a fair bit of the work.

“It would be unfair in a way to say to Kyle, “see you later, mate. We’ve got Westy back in the team’.

“It’s all about what works for the team and not for the individuals.”

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Meanwhile, Giants coach Greg Mellor has confirmed the departure of backman Jake Wood for the remainder of the season.

Originally from the Riverina town of Leeton, Wood has returned home before travelling.

“I think he’s one of the, probably, most underrated defenders in the competition,” Mellor said.

“He finished his uni (course), and he’s hung around for another six months. We knew it was on the cards.

“He’s been enormous for our club and the people that he’s actually brought in.

“He’s such an engaging and great fella.”

Mellor acknowledged the hole it would leave in West’s defence but said it would create a chance for others.

“Joel Fleeton will get an opportunity, and he didn’t do too bad of a job today on a pretty hand player,” Mellor said.

“Alex Buckwell will get opportunities; you’ve got to find the next one.”

Twitter: @tom_king79