SOUTH Warrnambool’s Tom Clancey last played football in May 2011.
A shoulder injury against Koroit ended his game and his season.
Clancey, 20, is preparing to make his long-awaited comeback.
The defender-cum-midfielder’s goal is to play round one against Terang Mortlake on April 13.
“(I can’t wait for) the competitive side against rivals like Warrnambool and actually being around the club a bit more and the guys,” he said.
Clancey had a reconstruction on his left shoulder in July 2011.
He could have returned in the latter stages of last season but had work commitments at a mine in Ouyen.
Clancey said when he went for his surgery his injury was “a bit worse than they thought”.
“I was meant to have about three months off work but I tore my supraspinatus which only old people tear, so that added a bit to it as well,” he said.
“With the supraspinatus, because I have torn it at such a young age, there is a good chance I will do it again.
“With a shoulder you kind of know yourself whether it’s right or not.
“At the moment it’s not really 100 per cent but hopefully come round one or two it will be there.”
Clancey will finish work at the mine next week and will start a commerce degree at Warrnambool’s Deakin University campus in March.
He hopes living in Warrnambool full-time will enable him to complete most of the Roosters’ pre-season sessions.
“I tore tendons in my ankle on Christmas Eve up at work and so I had my first run last night at training,” he said last week.
“It is still a bit proppy but will be all right in a couple of weeks or so.
“It’s not the ideal time when you’re trying to lose a bit of weight and get fit.”
Clancey is eyeing a permanent spot in the Roosters’ senior side.
He’s unsure what position South Warrnambool coach Matthew Peake envisages him playing.
“I have to get fit first and get my body right and get my shoulders 100 per cent,” Clancey said. “Hopefully I’d like to be in the backline somewhere and if I get fit enough have a swing in the midfield.”
Clancey said he was expecting South Warrnambool to produce a strong season despite an exodus of high-quality players in the off-season.
“There are some young guys but there are still some older guys — well they wouldn’t want to be called older,” he said.
“There is still Danny Finn, Scotty Maddern, Kim Eagleson and Sam Kelly so there is a really good bunch of blokes and it will be good to blood some new blokes at the same time as well.”