14. Crunch time
It’s crunch time! Teams jostle for finals positions. Numerous injuries sideline important players. Coaches struggle to outsmart opponents with on-field tactics. The media take desperate measures to get that unique story line. New players get their first games. All players try to cement their places for the next season. This is the defining point in the AFL season.
A couple of the young men from Jeremy’s under 18 team have recently had their first games. Jeremy shares the joy in their success and phones them to tell them so.
We had thought that Jeremy may have been chosen to play this last weekend. He was invited to attend all the relevant meetings. His name was suggested. We were ready to take off interstate at the last moment. Alas it was not to be. Maybe next week?
This time of year clubs know if they are in finals contention. Clubs begin to assess the team performances and try to work out their needs for the future. New players are put to the test to see if they have what it takes. Many players have their seasons put to a premature end due to serious injury. Trade of players, impending retirements, delisting, and draft choices are all bandied around by media speculation. It is an edgy time for everyone in the game.
Jeremy’s designated team had a week off this last weekend so this meant another week on the sidelines for Jeremy who is in-form, injury free, and raring to go. He had to do some training to keep up his match fitness. Jeremy was tempted to come home for a visit, but instead went along to watch and support his AFL team.
Crunch time for Jeremy means he may just be selected to play his first AFL game in the next week or so. Otherwise he will have to wait until next year hoping his chance will be kept alive by his club choosing to keep him around for another year.