RUCKMAN Peter Morris made his return to football at the perfect time for Western Eagles.
The 24-year-old had considered a comeback at the same time the club was facing a crucial shortage of big men.
The Eagles’ predicament, combined with nagging from friend Carl Fish, were the catalysts for Morris to emerge from the football wilderness to help his junior club rise up the ladder.
“I played at Western Eagles as a kid and then went to Imps for two seasons, and then I had two years off and went back to Eagles,” Morris said.
“I don’t really know why, just nagging of myself. Just Carl Fish, him saying the Eagles had a chance but didn’t have a ruckman and I thought I’d have a go,” he said.
Morris is one of two former Eagles to return to the club this season, with Sam McGuane signing as an assistant coach.
The ruckman’s comeback was no certainty when Fish made his first approach soon before Christmas last year.
But he said he was glad he had pulled the boots on as the rebuilding Eagles took another step forward.
Morris said season 2012 was “make or break time for the Eagles” after a tumultuous few years, but the signs were already positive.
“A successful year, I think it’s a success already,” he said.
“We played South Colac first and we kicked five goals against them and the feeling around the club has definitely improved from when I used to be there.
“When I used to be there we expected to lose but it’s definitely a very positive vibe.”
Morris said coach Carson was the right man to steer a revival which is gaining pace.
“It’s not going to happen overnight but if we can win four or five games, if not more, this year it’ll definitely be a success,” Morris said.
“But I don’t want to underestimate us. The feeling on the ground is unbelievable,” he said.
Western Eagles will be without Hamish Gleeson for their clash against Alvie tomorrow, and have drafted Andrew McNamara, Ben Jenkins and Patrick Ryan onto an extended bench.
Dylan Lowe, who missed last weekend with the flu, is the sole inclusion for Alvie.
Injuries cut down Roos ahead of Lions clash
AN UNDER-STRENGTH South Colac line-up has deflated the high expectations for tomorrow’s blockbuster match against Forrest.
South Colac is without up to six of its regular starters for the clash between the two genuine premiership contenders at Joiner Reserve.
Young Roos midfielder Alex Broomfield will return from an injured thigh, but teammates Deon Oborne, Kalen Iselt and possibly Josh Goonan are unavailable.
Assistant coach Clay Brewer, Mick Baker and Zac Hammond are all yet to overcome injuries.
South Colac’s outs swing the odds in favour of the Lions, who lost to the Roos by one point in the teams’ last meeting.
Imps up against familiar face
COLAC Imperials will come up against a familiar face when they meet Irrewarra-Beeac this weekend.
Tomorrow’s clash at Irrewarra Recreation Reserve will be the first time former Cat Jordan Smith meets his old team since crossing with brother Dan over the summer.
Jordan, who led the Imps’ goal-kicking last year with 23, has booted four goals in the Bombers’ first two games this year, but Imperials coach Craig Williams said the young forward would not receive extra attention.
Tough test as Demons season unravels
OTWAY Districts face a tough task to get their slowly-unravelling season back on track.
The Gellibrand-based side travels to Apollo Bay hoping to reignite its 0-3 season against the improved Hawks.
The Demons were competitive against Birregurra in round one but have since suffered back-to-back defeats against Irrewarra-Beeac and Alvie.
Coach Adam Harris said a lack of cohesion up forward was behind the early-season defeats, a problem compounded by a knee injury to athletic forward Chris Paatsch.
Simpson not out for revenge against Saints
SIMPSON midfield general Adam Courtney says the Tigers are not out for revenge against Birregurra this weekend.
The Saints denied Simpson a spot in the grand final last year following their 15.14 (104) to 7.14 (56) preliminary final victory at Central Reserve, before going on to win the 2011 premiership.
But Courtney, who was best on ground and booted a goal in the loss, said a win tomorrow at Birregurra Recreation Reserve wouldn’t make up for last year’s defeat.
“They’ve got a very different team this year so we don’t really know what to expect, we know what a few of their new blokes like Christian Kelly are like but it’ll be still a hard contest,” he said.
Full previews appear in the current edition of the Colac Herald.