Buckley blow for Joeys

May 17, 2024 2:15 pm in by
St Joseph's star Jack Buckley. (Jason Borys/{Pixled Sports Media)

St Joseph’s has suffered a significant blow, with star defender Jack Buckley facing up to ten weeks on the sidelines with a foot stress fracture.

The Anzac Day medallist, who is set to spend six weeks in a moon boot, reported some soreness before last week’s demolition of Bell Park but got through training and took his place in the Joeys line-up.

“It had been a little bit tender for a week or so,” coach Ron Watt said.

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“He missed a night of training last week, and he said, ‘I’m right to play’ after training Thursday night.

“He played and was best-on-ground by a country mile in the first half on the weekend.

“Just before half-time, he said, ‘It’s really sore. I need to come off for a bit’.

“Not a great result, but let’s hope that’s as serious as it is because the top of the footy is a serious area.”

Buckley has been a critical part of Joeys’ unbeaten start to the season, averaging 25.5 disposals, which Premier Data considers elite compared to the rest of the competition.

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With a bye next week and early July, he may only miss eight games at worst.

But they include important meetings with Leopold (tomorrow), St Mary’s (Round 7) and Colac (Round 11) before returning for the return bout with 2023 runner-up South Barwon.

“You’ve got to put a positive spin on it,” Watt said. “That’s the only way you can go because, at any stage, you can drop any player.

“You want your best players out there, but he’s still contributing off the field.

“He came up with some great research on the Leopold team that we’re playing this week, and we’ll put that into action.”

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Lewis Antonac (Geelong VFL) and Finn McCombe (back) have also come out of the team that dismantled the Dragons.

Zac Knights returns after missing last week, while Ben Clark has been promoted for his first senior game of the season.

Watt was still weighing up the third inclusion at the time of writing.

Leopold has welcomed back premiership duo Jett Matthews and Jye Cross and lively forward James Edmonds.

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However, Jake Pitt remains sidelined with a calf injury suffered in Round 1.

Mitch Howard, Caleb Morrissy and Nick Lane have been omitted from the team that took care of Grovedale last week.

Veteran forward Michael Condy returns to replace league-leading goalkicker Flynn Young for the annual Zoe Kennedy Foundation match between Newtown & Chilwell and Bell Park at Elderslie Reserve.

Young kicked five goals in last week’s win over Lara to take his season tally to 21.

He’s maintained his place in Werribee’s VFL team following the Tigers’ bye last week.

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After making his debut for the Dragons last week, former Eagle Osca Riccardi will be missing with a calf injury.

Unbeaten St Mary’s has made six forced changes for its meeting with Lara at Bisinella Oval.

The Saints couldn’t consider captain Jack Blood, Brayden Ham, Zak Sherman, Elijah Wales, Nick Connors or Harvey Ryan.

Local product Elliott McDonald will make his debut. He’s been joined in the team by Chris Jansen, Noah Biggs, Luke Hillier, Luke Bartolo and Hamish Bourke.

For Bartolo and Jansen, it’s their first senior appearances of the season.

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The Cats will be without midfield gun Connor Thar (back) and rising star Tom Gunther (soreness), while Cooper Judd has returned to the under-18s.

Reid Burgoyne will debut for Lara, with Banjo Hickey promoted from underage level and Sam Hoffman promoted from the reserves.


Grovedale will be without Harvey Murrant until after the July bye, with hernia surgery booked for next week.

Jak Tute is also sidelined with a finger injury but should be back after next week’s break in the season.

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Sam Adams will become the Tigers’ 12th debutant in the opening six rounds for the trip to Colac, with veteran big man Ryan Abbott returning from an ankle injury for an important battle with Zach Zdybel.

At the time of writing, the home team was yet to make a change to the team that demolished North Shore last week.

The son of former Melbourne star David Schwarz will debut for St Albans as it hosts South Barwon at St Albans Reserve.

Cooper Schwarz is among several Geelong College alums to find their way to the Supersaints.

Joining Schwarz in pulling on a St Albans jumper for the first time is forward Noah Guida.

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The Supersaints have welcomed back Dylan Johnston and recalled Riley Somers.

Sam Coutts is in doubt due to illness, while Tom Brooks, Will Rofe and Ben Gadd have been dropped following last week’s 139-point loss to Geelong West.

The Swans welcome back Zac Urquhart, and Tom Bartlett has been recalled.

They replace star midfielder Todd White (VFL) and recruit Blair Huggins (hip flexor).

North Shore is yet to confirm its change for the suspended Cam Primmer, while Geelong West has lodged the same 22 as the team that belted St Albans last week ahead of the clash at Windsor Park.

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X: @krockfootball