Breaking bad: Port Fairy footballer’s injury curse strikes again

Xavier McCartney begins the long recovery process from a broken leg.
Xavier McCartney begins the long recovery process from a broken leg.

XAVIER McCartney estimates injury has cut three years out of his fledgling football career.

At 22, McCartney’s injury list rivals his number of seasons in the senior ranks.

The Port Fairy forward’s 2014 season ended abruptly when he broke his leg in the Seagulls’ surprise round two win against Portland.

McCartney’s injury “curse” had struck again.

He has broken his left arm twice, right arm and collarbone.

The former Hawkesdale-Macarthur and Old Collegians forward returned to Port Fairy this season to play alongside older brothers Sam and Andrew.

But his Seagulls’ comeback — he played junior football at Gardens Oval — was short-lived.

McCartney said his latest injury setback was “definitely the worst” he’d experienced.

“I broke my right leg, the fibula and tibia, around the same spot,” he said.

“One bone was a clean break and the tibia wasn’t quite right through.

“It was in a tackle. My leg got caught under him (my opponent) and he fell on it.

“I had a feeling straight away it was both bones because I tried to get up.”

McCartney hopes Port Fairy will finish top five and play finals for the first time since 2005.

That’s when watching from the sidelines, where he envisages helping coach Sam Rudolph on the bench, would become tough.

His injuries have already impacted on his football finals fortunes. McCartney played for Northern Territory Football League club Nightcliff over summer and missed its grand final after he injured his quad on the eve of the decider.

They’ve curtailed his promising golf career too. 

The one-handicapper will miss Port Fairy’s Corangamite and District Golf Association division one pennant flag tilt on May 4.

“I was meant to play in the one last year for Warrnambool and broke my arm the day before it,” McCartney said.

He said he would weigh up his football future once he started rehabilitation. 

“I will see how it holds up and try and have a decent pre-season and get to the physios and see how it is,” he said.

“If I play, it’ll definitely be at Port Fairy.”

Port Fairy hosts Terang Mortlake in Hampden league round three action on Saturday.

It is one of two Saturday games, with Warrnambool and North Warrnambool Eagles to meet in a preliminary final rematch at Reid Oval.

The league’s other fixtures — Portland versus Hamilton Kangaroos, Koroit versus South Warrnambool and Cobden versus Camperdown — are Anzac Day fixtures on Friday.

McCartney said it was imperative the Seagulls backed up their round two win.

“It’s a big game for us. We can set ourselves at 2-1. With Hamilton the week after we could be 3-1, so we could set our season up,” he said of the game against Terang Mortlake. It’s a couple of big weeks for us.”


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