McGovern ruled out of grand fi­nal

Albany Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Cameron New­bold

Tal­ented Ade­laide Crows for­ward and for­mer North Al­bany ju­nior Mitch McGovern has failed in his bid to be de­clared fit from a ham­string in­jury and will miss the Crows’ tan­ta­lis­ing AFL grand fi­nal clash with Rich­mond at the MCG on Satur­day.

Two sea­sons af­ter older brother Jeremy rep­re­sented the West Coast Ea­gles on grand fi­nal day, Mitch will be the hard-luck story of the last day in Septem­ber as the Crows aim to win their first flag since 1998 with­out him.

The re­cently re-signed Crows for­ward was hope­ful of re­turn­ing to the se­nior line-up fol­low­ing the ham­string com­plaint, which kept him out of Ade­laide’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal win over Gee­long last Fri­day.

The high-fly­ing WA prod­uct kicked a goal and had 11 dis­pos­als in the open­ing week of the fi­nals against Greater Western Sydney, but has been ham­pered by the ham­string in­jury ever since.

Crows coach Don Pyke ruled out McGovern re­turn­ing to the side fol­low­ing their 90-minute ses­sion at the Ade­laide Oval on Tues­day morn­ing in front of more than 7000 fans, and it was later con­firmed by Crows chief ex­ec­u­tive An­drew Fagan.

Af­ter com­plet­ing only parts of the train­ing ses­sion, Pyke con­firmed McGovern would miss the sea­son de­cider in a brief me­dia in­ter­view im­me­di­ately af­ter­wards.

“Un­for­tu­nately he won’t come up — it’s an op­por­tu­nity for some­one else,” Pyke said.

Speak­ing to the me­dia af­ter the bumper train­ing ses­sion, Fagan con­firmed the bad news for the Clare­mont prod­uct.

“Un­for­tu­nately, Mitch needed to get through to­day’s ses­sion and, as Pykey said ear­lier, he didn’t quite pull up,” he said.

“It’s a sad story for Gov, but one man down, an­other one up.”

The 22-year-old earned a three­year con­tract ex­ten­sion in Au­gust af­ter be­ing a vi­tal cog in the Crows’ po­tent for­ward line with 20 goals from 13 games, re­sist­ing the temp­ta­tion to re­turn to his home State.

Pic­ture: James Elsby/AFL Me­dia

Mitch McGovern at the Ade­laide Crows’ open train­ing ses­sion at Ade­laide Oval yes­ter­day.

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