Lovett to play in WAFL with East Perth - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lovett to play in WAFL with East Perth

By Justin Chadwick 17/05/2010 05:23:07 PM Comments (0)

Former AFL star Andrew Lovett has been welcomed with open arms by WAFL club East Perth despite the sacked St Kilda recruit still facing two charges of rape.

Lovett, who was dumped by the Saints in February without playing a game for the club, has chosen to continue his controversial career with the Royals and is set to suit up for their May 29 home clash with South Fremantle at Leederville Oval.

The 27-year-old, who was also sounded out by several VFL clubs, started his career with East Perth and coach Tony Micale said Lovett's return wouldn't be a distraction and had been greeted with enthusiasm by the players.

"All our guys look at is what Andy is offering our footy team in terms of his football," Micale said on Monday.

"He came over for the weekend so he was at our club on Friday.

"He was introduced to the players at training ... and everybody was very positive.

"It's not a distraction.

"He's committed, he understands what the requirements are and he still has the enthusiasm to play the game.

"It's great for us to be able to give him this opportunity to go out and show his football skills again.

"He struck up a very good relationship with a number of people at our footy club (when he started his career here) and that was one of the main factors in him coming back this way."

Lovett played 88 games for the Bombers but was offloaded to St Kilda last year for pick No.16 in the national draft after a raft of off-field breaches at Essendon.

His career hit rock bottom when he was dumped by the Saints in February the day after he was charged with one count of rape.

Lovett, who was recently served with a second charge of rape relating to the same woman over an alleged incident last year, is involved in ongoing legal proceedings with St Kilda, the AFL and members of the AFL's grievance tribunal over his sacking.

While Lovett will technically remain on St Kilda's list until the end of the season, he was cleared to play in state ranks by the AFL and the Saints.

Micale was confident Lovett would be ready to play in a fortnight in what is a timely boost for the Royals, who sit seventh on the nine-team table with a 2-6 record.

"Obviously he wouldn't be in top condition from a match play point of view but he certainly looks as lean as he normally looks and he's been able to train on a regular basis," Micale said.

"He looks in pretty good shape and we think he will play in two weeks' time.

"He's going to have his first training run with us tonight.

"He's an exciting player who can break the lines.

"It's just what the doctor ordered for us."

Meanwhile, former Tiger Andrew Krakouer will have the chance to push his case for a return to AFL ranks when he lines up for WA in Saturday's clash with Victoria at Leederville Oval in Perth.

Krakouer, who played 102 games for Richmond before being de-listed at the end of 2007 and then jailed for assault in '08, has starred for Swan Districts this season.

The 27-year-old is one of the favourites to win the WAFL's Sandover Medal and will be keen to impress AFL talent scouts in the State match.

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