Tuck still aiming for AFL comeback - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tuck still aiming for AFL comeback

By Roger Vaughan 15/03/2011 07:27:46 PM Comments (0)

Travis Tuck still aims to return to the AFL, despite his personal dramas and Hawthorn's decision not to offer him a rookie berth.

The Hawks announced on Tuesday that they had handed their last rookie spot to former Melbourne and West Coast ruckman Paul Johnson, ahead of Tuck and Nathan Ahmat-Watkins.

Last August, Tuck became the first player to record three positive tests under the league's controversial illicit drugs policy.

The son of AFL games record holder Michael Tuck received a 12-match ban after testing positive to recreational drug gammahydroxybutyrate (GBH) and the Hawks dropped him at the end of the season.

But Hawthorn let Travis Tuck train with them over summer so he could stake his claim for the rookie berth.

Hawthorn football manager Mark Evans said Tuck's AFL motivation remained high and the Hawks hope he will keep playing with Box Hill, their VFL affiliate.

"Travis has made it very clear he wants to play at the highest level outside the AFL and for the very reason that if he can get his form and fitness back, he'd like to get back onto an AFL list," Evans said.

"We've told him we'll monitor that pretty carefully and support wherever we can."

Evans said Tuck had taken the decision with a clear mind and was much healthier than when he tested positive to GBH last year.

"He's made very, very good progress and that's a credit to Travis, to the professionals who have been working with him, to people like his friends, family and the football club," Evans said.

"Making sure he gets back to a stable life, that is by far the most important thing.

"You can see it in his face and in his eyes, he's in a different space - that's a great position to be in, compared to where he was."

Evans stressed the decision to pick Johnson was purely based on football needs, saying the Hawks felt they needed an extra ruckman on their rookie list.

While Tuck is still serving his drugs ban, he was able to play for Hawthorn in pre-season games.

The Hawks also picked Riley Milne as their nominated rookie for the season, meaning he will be available for senior selection.

Meanwhile, suspended WA footballer Travis Casserly is among three players who failed to gain a promotion to Richmond's rookie list.

Casserly is appealing a two-year ban he received last month after testing positive to pseudoephedrine in 2010.

If the appeal was successful Richmond could have promoted him to their final rookie spot.

The Tigers chose not to fill their final rookie berth.

But Richmond have promoted former Melbourne tall utility Brad Miller to their senior list.

They recruited Miller, 27, as a mature-aged recruit after his 133 senior games with the Demons.

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