K rock Football

Knee blow for Falcon

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

2020 AFL draft hopeful Noah Gribble will miss the Geelong Falcon’s NAB League season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament during the first week of pre-season training.

The talented 17-year-old, who is a member of the Vic Country Academy and played in the Futures clash on AFL Grand Final day, will undergo surgery on Tuesday.

“It was our first outdoor session of the year and we were doing a groundball drill,” coach Luke Daffy said.

“He went to turn and felt a bit of a buckle in his knee.

“He’s been for a scan and it’s a confirmed ACL.”

If the Newtown & Chilwell product did miss out on finding an AFL home in 12 months, Daffy says the door would likely be open for Gribble to return as a 19-year-old in 2021.

“The first couple of days (following the injury) was just about getting the information back, which we didn’t want to hear, but we have,” Daffy said.

“After the surgery, we’ll put a plan in place. The profile of what he’s got at the moment is clearly a perfect 19-year-old player.

“But, who knows what will happen. He had a fantastic year as a bottom-ager, hence playing on Grand Final Day in that (Futures) Game.

“You just never know.”

Daffy says Gribble, who finished tied for seventh in the Falcons’ best-and-fairest last month, was a prime candidate for a leadership role in 2020.

“He will still have a leadership capacity with us this year,” Daffy said.

“He was already driving standards across the first couple of nights, and he was excited to have opportunities there, so we will make sure that still happens.

Meanwhile, 1992 Geelong Falcons premiership player Luke Rayner will take on the role of director of coaching.

The Grovedale product was most recently co-coach of GFL club Bell Park, having also spent time in charge of Winchelsea and Torquay, and roles with the Falcons and Essendon VFL.

“He will work across the under-16s as well and build on the work he’s done with the 15s, and then work with the coaches with some development planning there,” Daffy said.

“And, more importantly, he’s involved with the players as well, which is really exciting.”

Twitter: @tom_king79