Emerging defender Adam Garner says inspiration from injured Colac Tiger Tom Simpkin has played a major role in his selection to play in front of AFL recruiters tomorrow.
Garner will miss the Tigers’ match against Grovedale, with the 20-year-old featuring in an AFL Victoria Young Gun Series match in Melbourne.
AFL Victoria introduced the Young Guns series last year to give young players a chance to play in front of AFL recruiters if they were not getting opportunities at VFL level.
The key tall is set to line-up for the Country team against City in a curtain-raiser to the Collingwood-Port Melbourne VFL clash.
Garner, who is on Geelong’s VFL list in 2019, has failed to play a game in the state league due to the Cats’ healthy squad at AFL level so far this season.
But Garner has produced big numbers for the Tigers in the Geelong league, with his contested marking a strong feature of his game.
The former Geelong Falcons premiership player has averaged a tick over 17 disposals and seven marks in the past month, with 16 of his 29 grabs in that period contested.
Garner said returning Tiger and former St Kilda AFL footballer Simpkin suffering his second ACL injury in as many years led him to taking on a bigger role in Colac’s backline.
“Halfway through last year I went down back and had a go because I wasn’t doing heaps up forward,” he said.
“With Tommy Simpkin going down, I sort of took it upon myself to make it my own and be a bit of a general down there.
“Tom’s been great for me, he gives me advice on what he’s found works for him and stuff like that, but just generally he’s one of the great blokes around the club.
“The way he responded after doing his second knee, I’ve never seen anything like it; it says a fair bit about his character.”
See today’s Colac Herald for more.