A sore hamstring is not going to stand in the way of Jack Irvine playing for Temora in Sunday’s sudden death semi-final at Robertson Oval.
Irvine has been to hell and back with injuries over the past four years and has finally managed to string to continuity since returning to play with Temora.
Irvine was considered an AFL Draft hopeful after helping Temora to premiership success as a 16-year-old back in 2014.
From there, it all came crashing down as consecutive knee reconstructions and other injuries prevented him from playing since.
Irvine made his sixth appearance of the season for Temora in last week’s qualifying final, where he kicked three first-quarter goals before a hamstring strain sidelined him for the second half.
The 20-year-old is not going to let a minor hamstring complaint stop him from lining up against East Wagga-Kooringal on Sunday.
“It’s not too bad. I’ve got it right for this week so I’m right to play,” Irvine said.
“I just strained it I think. It pulled up pretty sore but I didn’t want to risk it last week, having the second chance.”
Irvine’s inclusion is a crucial one for Temora, as they look to keep their premiership chances alive.
Not only did Irvine get off to a brilliant start in last week’s loss to North Wagga, he also threatened the last time the Kangaroos played EWK.
Irvine kicked 1.6 against the Hawks, when Temora won by 16 points at Nixon Park.
That was just his third game back in Temora colours after making the mid-season switch. He travels home from Melbourne to play with Temora each week after starting the season with Maribyrnong Park in the Essendon and District League.
The decision to come home and play is one he does not regret.
“I’m loving it,” he said.
“It’s good. There are a lot of new faces but a few older faces are still there.
“I wasn’t enjoying playing in Melbourne, I didn’t really know anyone so I decided to come back here and play.
“It’s good to be back.”
Irvine has liked what he’s seen in his six games back at Temora and believes with a full-strength team, the Kangaroos can keep their season alive on Sunday.
“I think when we get everyone on the paddock, we’re a chance,” he said.
“We don’t have many coming through the reserves so we need to have everyone on the paddock.
“We’ve got a lot of finals experience...so I think it would be a bit of a worry to play us.”
Temora has made just the one change for Sunday’s final with coach Jake Wooden to return from a calf injury. Matt Krause goes out of the team.
Irvine has been named in a forward pocket, a role he enjoys.
“In juniors I played a lot in the midfield but now I play mostly at half back or half forward,” he said.
“I like playing up forward more. If I get my body right I’d like to play through the midfield.”