SUBIACO footballer Tom Smith will push for a WAFL debut this year after overcoming a serious back injury which wiped out his first season in Western Australia.
The North Warrnambool Eagles export said he had hit the Lions’ pre-season running and felt “a lot better, a lot fitter and a lot stronger”.
Smith was diagnosed with stress fractures in his back in March last year and was expected to miss 12 weeks.
The injury persisted and the North Ballarat Rebels graduate was forced to spend the entire season on the sidelines.
Smith, 19, said he was ready to repay Subiaco’s faith.
“It made me hungry to get back out there and show Subiaco and the WAFL what I can do playing-wise,” he said.
“It was hard to come over and not be able to show anyone what I can do.”
Smith said his back was good.
“It will always be sore but I have to manage it,” he said.
“It is something I have to keep an eye on for the rest of my life.
“My goal is to get into the senior side and hopefully play good footy.
“I still dream of playing AFL footy.”
The tenacious midfielder said he was grateful for Subiaco’s support during his rehabilitation and was pleased with his start to the Lions’ pre-season training campaign.
“It’s helped I have been able to run decent times and I am happy with my fitness testing,” Smith said.
“We did six weeks of pre-season before Christmas.
“It was straight into ball work and a lot of running.
“We did four sessions a week and a few weights sessions as well.
“It was full-on with work as well and something you have to maintain as well, but you reap the benefits.”
Smith said he was content with his decision to move west straight after he finished his VCE in 2012.
His sister Hayley moved to Perth for work after Christmas too.
“It’s good to have a family member here and Timmy Hunt has moved over as well,” Smith said.