K rock Football

Dom eyes return to action

Torquay coach Dom Gleeson. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

TORQUAY is set to receive a significant on-field boost with Dom Gleeson overcoming an injury that has sidelined the playing coach since mid-May.

The 38-year-old reigning Ash medallist revealed he has returned to full training after battling an Achilles issue that has limited him to just four matches in 2021.

However, with the Tigers making a 10-0 start to the shortened season, Gleeson isn’t guaranteeing himself a place in the team.

“I always aspired to play this year; probably ten or so games, and I think I can get those games in,” he said. “In terms of output, I can only back myself in as coach.

“But, I’ve got assistant coaches Aaron Nesbitt, Stuie Hill, Ben Raidme, Ben Kennedy, Pete Raidme in the coaches’ quarters who are probably more honest to me than anyone.

“They’re not vying for a job with me; they’ve all been with me since the start. I think they’ll be honest with me and say, “Dom, hang them up and maybe wait until year”.

“I’ve been trying to keep myself in good nick to play, and I think I’ve done that.

“Now it’s just around timing. I don’t want to make wholesale changes to the team; if the opportunity arises for me to come into the team, I will.”

Star defender James Saker is also closing in on a return, having not played since Round 3 with an Achilles issue of his own.

“He’s just being very patient with it,” Gleeson said.

“He’s just recently moved to the area; he’s been training; he’s just in no real hurry.

“We won’t see him this week, but potentially the following week.

“We’d like to get him in and get him a run at finals.”

Due to the COVID-enforced shutdown of the season and the mid-season bye, Torquay will meet Anglesea for the second time in four games on Saturday.

In the previous meeting in Round 8, the Tigers kicked 14 goals to one in the second half to turn a 28-point deficit in to a 58-point victory.

It’s the first-half performance of the Roos that has Gleeson wary heading to Ellimatta Reserve.

“We really respect Anglesea; we always have,” he said. “They’re a team, like most, who when they get their back up, they’re really hard to stop.

“We’re preparing for the first-half team that we faced.

“They were just formidable. They ran the footy really, moved the ball really well, and I think we disrespected them.

“Hopefully, we don’t follow suit, and we put our best foot forward, and we know our best footy will compete.”

Twitter: @tom_king79