K rock Football

Tiger great to go one more

Colac ruckman Lochie Veale in action against St Joseph’s on July 10. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

LOCHIE Veale will extend his impressive GFL career into 2022 after signing a new one-year deal.

Veale, who turns 37 in March, has played just five games since the 2019 grand final due to a combination of COVID-19 shutdowns and injury.

However, he still managed to poll eight votes to lead Colac’s Mathieson Medal tally.

“A couple of broken seasons with COVID has been a little bit disappointing, across the board, for everyone,” Veale said.

“I’m definitely keen to get a full season under the belt whenever we get one of those.

“I’ve had a good chat with Rowan (McSparron) over the last few months in regards to next year.

“Hopefully, I take on more of a development role helping the tall guys coming through so that once I’m gone, we’ve got a few options there to fill my role.”

A member of Colac’s lone GFL premiership team in 2014, Veale expects to be managed through next year in a similar vein to retiring Newtown & Chilwell ruck David Fanning was in 2021.

“Anyone that is 35-plus is getting long in the tooth football-wise, so you definitely need that management,” he said.

“Injuries depending, hopefully, it turns out to be a 10 to 14-game thing.”

Veale sits on 185 games but isn’t getting caught up in reaching the 200-game milestone in yellow and black.

“From a purely personal level, that would be a nice thing to hit,” he said.

“If you look back at the years I’ve played, I think I played a couple of years where I only played 10-12 games due to injury when I came back.

“200 would be a great thing. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”

Veale joined his teammates in returning to training when COVID restrictions were eased in regional Victoria late last week.

He’s declared himself ready to go if the season resumes after a hamstring injury kept him out of what proved to be the final two home-and-away games.

“That was a bit of a niggly hammy,” Veale said. “Rowan’s been great keeping me on the straight-and-narrow and keeping me honest with the body.

“In years gone by, I probably would have played with that little niggle.

“But, we’ve got a strong list, and if it’s me, it’s anyone else that goes down, we can bring guys in that can fill those holes.

“I probably could have played, but we put it on ice for a couple of weeks, and then we got locked down.”

Veale is one of several re-signings at Central Reserve, including former co-coach Kane Leersen, whose season was cut short by a serious knee injury.

Twitter: @tom_king79