K rock Football

Gribble ready to go

Noah Gribble in action for the Geelong Falcons in 2019. (Geelong Falcons Image/Brian Bartlett)

NOAH Gribble will make his return from a serious knee injury when the Geelong Falcons open their NAB League Boys season against the GWV Rebels on Thursday night.

The highly-rated midfielder would have missed the entire 2020 season if it had gone ahead after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in the first week of pre-season training.

Coach Paul Corrigan has confirmed Gribble, who was part of the Vic Country Academy and played in the Futures match on AFL Grand Final day 2019, would line-up against the Rebels.

“He’s had an outstanding pre-season,” Corrigan said. “He came back (to pre-season) in fantastic nick.

“I think the COVID (break) helped his recovery and gave him a good 14-15 months before he was back in training.

“He hasn’t missed a beat. He’s also been down at (VFL club) Werribee through pre-season and back with us.”

“He’s been in really good form in the intra-clubs (matches) we’ve had as well.”

NAB LEAGUE: FALCONS REVEAL BOYS SQUAD

Corrigan expects it will be an emotional return for Gribble, whose father, former Geelong West-St Peter’s and South Barwon star Andrew, lost his battle with melanoma in November last year.

“It was a really difficult time for him and his family,” Corrigan said. “But, kudos to him, he’s been so good through the pre-season.

“He’ll be upset the old man can’t be there, but I’m sure he’ll be playing his guts out for him on Thursday and through the season.”

The Falcons will enter the meeting with the Rebels having only played intra-club matches in the build-up.

“We’ve kept stepping up each intra-club over the last three weeks,” Corrigan said.

“At times, the boys get a bit frustrated because the games can be a bit scrappy.

“You’re playing against guys in your squad who know exactly how you want to play and what you’re doing. It’s not always going to be pretty footy.

“I said, “let’s look forward to Round 1; we’re not going to hit our best footy early on in the year, but we’ll hit our best footy at some stage”.

“I’m just looking forward to seeing how they go after 18 months of some of these boys not playing footy.

“It’s been a long time, so I’ll put no expectations on them. I just want them to get out there and enjoy playing again.”

Twitter: @tom_king79.

NAB LEAGUE BOYS ROUND 2

GWV REBELS vs. GEELONG FALCONS

CE Brown Reserve – Wendouree

Thursday, April 1, 5:00pm