Departing Dolphin played year with torn ACL

Lorne premiership player Dan Roy, pictured in this year’s grand final, has replaced AFL champion Heath Scotland as head coach of Ballarat league club Darley.

Departing Lorne premiership player Dan Roy has revealed he played the 2019 Colac district league grand final with a partially torn ACL.

Roy, 31, has become the latest player from the Dolphins’ 2019 side to part ways after returning to Ballarat league club Darley to take on his first head coaching role.

The Geelong-based builder, speaking to the Colac Herald this week, said he had all but hung up his boots after injuring his knee in the opening round of the 2018 season with Darley.

Roy said encouragement from his brother-in-law and fellow Lorne mid-season recruit Mitch McKee persuaded him to return to the field this year, despite declining a knee reconstruction.

The pair played a major role in the Dolphins’ premiership this season, and were Lorne’s two best players in its grand final win against South Colac, with McKee winning the best-on-ground medal.

“I thought (after I injured my knee) that was the end to best honest, playing-wise,” Roy said.

“I haven’t had any surgery, no reco or anything, but it wasn’t a full tear, they said it would heal itself,” he said.

“But it was probably only because Mitch was going to training with Lorne that I thought I’d give it a real crack, he was working with me a bit so I thought I’d go down and see.

“It’d been about 15 or 16 months since I last played, with no training in between.

“I always thought you had to have a reco, but I didn’t have any issues with the knee so I stuck with it.”

Roy said it would be sad to leave Lorne for a second time, but said an opportunity to coach was too good to turn down.

He spent two years with Darley as an assistant coach under former AFL champ Heath Scotland in 2017 and ‘18, featuring in the Devils’ 2017 grand final win.

Scotland has taken on an AFL development role with North Melbourne.

See today’s Colac Herald for more.

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