Akermanis set for return to footy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Akermanis set for return to footy

By Patrick Caruana 28/03/2011 08:10:49 PM Comments (0)

Discarded AFL star Jason Akermanis will return to competitive football this week after seven months in the sporting wilderness.

But Akermanis will be a long way from the bright lights of the MCG, wearing the black and white of Tasmanian side Glenorchy when they take on reigning premiers Clarence this Saturday.

The Western Bulldogs gave the Brownlow Medallist and triple-premiership winner with Brisbane his marching orders last July when he upset the rest of the playing group.

The 34-year-old was unable to find a new home in the AFL, and signed with Glenorchy last September.

Glenorchy general manager Jaimes Wiggins said Akermanis' presence was a massive boost for the state's football league

"This is one of the greatest things in Tasmanian football history. Everyone's really excited," Wiggins told AAP.

"We've got expectations of a crowd of 6, 7, or even 10,000 people."

Wiggins said Akermanis had been training with Melbourne club Aberfeldie, and hadn't lost much match fitness.

"He doesn't want to be stagnated and put one-out in the forward 50," he said.

"Jason's really keen to have an impact, and I know he's told coach Byron Howard that he wants to play through the midfield.

"He's in reasonable shape. Just in training sessions his class is really coming through, it's been fairly amazing actually."

Wiggins said he was hopeful that Akermanis would play on beyond 2011.

"This could be the start of something special for Tasmanian footy," he said.

"We hope that other clubs are in the situation to do the same thing in 12 months' time.

"It's only 15 years ago that David Rhys-Jones and these sort of guys were running around playing statewide footy in Tassie."

In an ironic twist, Glenorchy is where Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade began his career.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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