Injured Koroit export Martin Gleeson is unsure if he will play this season but rapt he’s secured his future at AFL club Essendon.
Gleeson inked a deal that ties him to the Bombers until the end of the 2020 season.
Essendon’s decision to re-sign Gleeson shows the high regard he is held at the club, given he has yet to play a game in 2018.
Gleeson’s season hit a major snag when he had surgery in March on a broken foot and dislocation after falling awkwardly from a marking contest during a practice match against Geelong in Colac.
Gleeson has yet to put a date on his return to the field.
“Obviously it sucks about the injury, that’s part of footy, so I’m just looking forward to hopefully getting back later this year or the start of next year,” he said.
“I just wanted to make sure I get my ankle right, I guess.
“It’s a tough one, I want to play this year, but I want to make sure I don’t have any issues with it down the track.
“It’s going well, I caught up with the surgeon last week, he was really happy with the progress – it’s starting to heal really well.
“There’s probably just a little more to go with the healing process, so I’ll still be in the boot for just a little bit longer, but I’m happy with how it’s going.
“It’s tough, I’m not the best watcher. I just want to get out there and you play with your mates.
“That’s what we do, we love playing footy and everything you do during the week is to play footy. Oh well, that’s the way it goes.”
Gleeson has played 69 games and kicked five goals for the Bombers since making his debut against North Melbourne in 2014.
Gleeson played all his junior football at Koroit and 23 senior games for the Saints before a season with North Ballarat Rebels in 2012.
Essendon picked up Gleeson in the 2012 national draft at pick 53.
Gleeson enjoyed his best season at AFL level in 2017 and was a key member of the Bombers’ team that surged up the ladder and played finals.
While the Bombers’ finals run was restricted to a heavy elimination final loss to the Sydney Swans, many were predicting big things for the team in red and black for 2018. After 12 rounds, the Bombers have fallen short of those expectations, with seven losses and just five wins.
Despite this stunted progress, Gleeson, 23, is confident his team can turn its fortunes around.
“I guess we’ve got a lot of guys now around that 22-25 age bracket,” he said.
“Hopefully we can keep working hard together in the coming years and we can really start to put that out on the footy field.”