Vice-captain signs on to 2004, and declares fitness

Tuesday, April 23
Geelong Advertiser

GEELONG vice-captain Brenton Sanderson says he is 100 per cent right to play this weekend against Fremantle after being a late withdrawal from Sunday's match with a calf strain.

Sanderson ruled himself out of Sunday's clash with St Kilda after he could not extend properly during a light training session on Saturday, paving the way for ruckman Paul Chambers to make his senior debut.

``I just couldn't quite go 100 per cent and as much as I would have liked to play, and you hate to miss games, it was probably in the side's best interest that I had the weekend off to try to get right for this week,'' he said.

``I was very close to playing, it's no big deal.''

Sanderson described the strain as ``the mildest strain you can have''.

``I had the same injury in 1999 that kept me out. If anything I'd say it's one of the mildest strains you can have; just enough to keep me from playing.

``Fortunately there's a bit of depth in the side now and the young kids can come in and take up any slack.''

Sanderson, who has this year to run on his contract, will play out his football career with Geelong after agreeing to a two-year extension that ties him to the club until the end of 2004.

``It's great to sign long-term deals but obviously the team comes first and you want to play well and do your best for the side,'' he said.

Ruckman and joint vice-captain Steven King is contracted to the end of 2003 and captain Ben Graham says he's close to signing on a two-year extension that will secure the nucleus of Geelong's leadership group.

Meanwhile, Sunday's landslide win hasn't translated into a membership stampede, but the club did sign up about 350 members on the day.

The club's general manager of marketing, Peter Jamieson, described membership inquiries after the win as ``sporadic'' and that total membership was just shy of 22,000.

``We're still concerned about membership remaining down 2000-3000 on where we were last year,' he said.

``If that trend continues then we will be suffering a financial (loss) in the magnitude of $250,000.''

Jamieson said he was surprised that the club had sold out its premium seating in the Brownlow Stand while its discount offer in the ``barrackers block'' on the eastern terrace was undersold.

``I'm gobsmacked that the barrackers block hasn't taken off,'' he said.

``It doesn't make any sense. We've sold all our expensive options, but all our cheaper options, which research indicated the people wanted, are still available.''

The club has sold 300 seats of 1000 in the barrackers block.

GEELONG football manager Garry Davidson said the club was banking on getting Corey Enright back from a shoulder dislocation by about round eight.

``He'll be able to play in around about four to five weeks,'' he said.

``That's what we're banking on and then we'll have a look at it again at the end of the year to see whether or not he needs another operation.''

Sports physician Dr Peter Larkins said he would be surprised a player could return from a shoulder dislocation so quickly.

``I would be surprised to see Corey Enright return to football in four weeks' time knowing that he had a proper dislocation,'' he said. ``Whilst I'm not privy to the detail of his case, in general it is unusual for a player to heal in six to eight weeks.

``In any dislocation the recovery time for tissue damage is in the vicinity of 12 to 14 weeks.''