Lloyd return right on track, says Sheedy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lloyd return right on track, says Sheedy

By Tim Clarke 04/03/2007 01:33:24 PM Comments (0)

Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy has declared skipper Matthew Lloyd's return from injury right on track, after a three-goal haul from the superstar forward in the practice match victory over West Coast.

Lloyd enjoyed a valuable workout in his second outing since a hamstring injury ruined last year, up against All-Australian Darren Glass on the wide expanses of Subiaco.

And after Lloyd sparked to life in the second term, kicking three goals and creating more in an encouraging burst, Sheedy said he was satisfied with his skipper's steady progress in the 15.10 (100) to 5.12 (42) win.

"Lloydy got better as the game went on," Sheedy said.

"Matthew Lloyd hadn't played much footy - and in the second half of this match he got a bit better, next week he will get a bit better (again).

"It normally takes Lloydy about four weeks to get up there."

After more than matching an undermanned Eagles for three quarters, the Bombers broke away in the last term, scoring seven unanswered majors to eventually win by 58 points.

More pleasing to Sheedy than the scoreline however, were the outings of Scott Gumbleton and Leroy Jetta, who both enjoyed returning home to make their Essendon debuts.

After taking both from WA in the draft - Jetta from East Fremantle and Gumbleton from Peel - Sheedy admitted he had brought them back to show locals what they would be missing in years to come.

"We think they are going to be fine players obviously, and probably good for them to bring them home and let all the fans here in Perth ... have a look," Sheedy said.

"Scott Gumbleton really played really well early, from the point of view of he didn't look overawed - neither of them did.

"They have come to WA, put their hand up and said 'Don't forget about us this year' - that is the message I got from both those two young men."

Another satisfying aspect for Sheedy was the form of another West Australian Courtney Johns, who showed glimpses of his capabilities before again succumbing to untimely injury.

A knee in the hip in the second term ended Johns' night, but not before he had kicked two majors.

"He looked fairly awesome there at times in the first half. He will probably miss next week and be right for the following week," Sheedy said.

Although pleased with the win, Sheedy also said it needed to be put in perspective, given the absence of Chris Judd, Ben Cousins, Andrew Embley, Dean Cox, and Daniel Kerr from Eagles ranks.

"We probably both had six or seven out, but theirs may have been a little bit better than ours," Sheedy said.

"Hopefully we can get up there but we have a long way to go yet. Today was the first step in the right direction."

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