K rock Football

Bond set to boost Saints

Doug Bond will make his return for St Mary’s when the season resumes. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

DOUG Bond will make his long-awaited return for St Mary’s when the GFL season resumes.

The 2019 premiership forward hasn’t played since breaking his collarbone in the win over St Albans on April 17.

Co-coach Travis Robertson says Bond will be a welcome addition as the unbeaten Saints push to claim consecutive GFL premierships for the first time.

“He is one of those classic cases of being more respected internally than he is externally,” Robertson said.

“He’s in our leadership group, and he kicked 11 goals in our finals campaign in 2019.

“He’s a very good footballer; he brings really great pressure in our forward line, but he can play a variety of roles.”

The news isn’t as good for Bond’s premiership teammate Brady Pritchard, who also suffered a broken collarbone against the Supersaints.

The Yarrawonga product’s best hope is a return later in the season.

“By all accounts, from the x-ray, it doesn’t look like the collarbone has improved to the point where he could play a game of contract sport,” Robertson said.

“It’s a real shame for Brady. He did the hard yards in 2019 to break in (to the senior team) at the pointy end of the season and was a really explosive player for us.

“We trained him all pre-season to play down back, and he was looking quite damaging in that role.

“He just hasn’t been able to get on the park.”

Geelong VFL listed Charlie Sprague is a week away from returning from an ankle injury. At the same time, Jono Arcoraci faces another fortnight on the sidelines with an ankle issue of his own.

“We’d decided to ice him for a bit and see if we can get some better recovery into his ankle,” Robertson said.

“He hasn’t played at the level we need from him since he’s had that ankle.

“It’s clearly impacting his ability to play the game.”

Twitter: @tom_king79