LION Sam Skinner will be forgiven if he doesn’t stick around after training at Perth’s Domain Stadium this afternoon for some extras.
In fact, if he goes looking for more work he’s likely to get a tug on the jumper from a coach or a senior player.
The powerful defender will make his AFL debut for Brisbane against West Coast tomorrow – a year after first being selected for senior duty.
Skinner’s ( pictured) story is all about terrible luck and a terrific attitude.
He was set to make his debut against Port Adelaide in Round 18 last year. He’d received the congratulatory phone calls and texts, organised the family for the big moment and got through the final training session of the week.
Then he went looking for a bit of extra marking practice. “I went and found some extra work on the bags and went up to mark the footy and landed awkwardly,’’ he said.
“I knew I had done it straightaway. Your body tells you you’ve done it but my mind was telling me I was fine.
“But I woke up the next morning and it was badly swollen and pretty sore and the scans confirmed the worst.
“It was a complete turn- around. I’d already gotten all these texts and calls congratulating me and then they started coming in with best wishes, it was an emotional rollercoaster.’’
And it was one he had ridden before. The first time he ruptured his ACL was midway through his Under- 18s year.
Brisbane needed key defenders and took a gamble, selecting him with pick 47 in the 2015 draft even though he had six months of rehabilitation work from his knee reconstruction still to complete.
He eventually recovered and took just six games in the NEAFL last year to earn a callup.
When the marking accident popped his ACL again, he was off for another 12 months in the rehabilitation group, meaning 17 of his 20 months at the Lions have been spent in injury isolation. HAWTHORN has kept its slim finals hopes alive with a stunning six point win against Sydney at the MCG in a match that was full of biff from the opening bounce.
It was a case of punch, then counter punch between the long- time AFL rivals but the Hawks had the last laugh as they held on for a 10.12.72 to 9.12.66 victory at the MCG.
Liam Shiels and Isaac Smith really stepped for the Hawks and big fellas Jarryd Roughead ( above) Ben McEvoy dominated.
Nic Newman found a ton of it for the Swans and Tom Papley kicked three, but the Hawks were too good in the end — just.