GORDON ruck/forward Luke Gunnell is in a race against time to prove his fitness ahead of Sunday’s Central Highlands Football League second elimination final with Daylesford.
Gunnell is lucky to be alive after a serious car accident last Wednesday, which occurred when he swerved to avoid falling furniture from the vehicle in front of him.
His car was a write-off after hitting a tree, but Gunnell escaped relatively unharmed, despite a shoulder injury that kept him sidelined for Gordon’s loss to Buninyong at the weekend.
It is his ability to recover from that injury that will decide his place in the Eagles’ team for this weekend’s clash with the Bulldogs.
Gordon coach Corey Grills, who has declared himself fit to play after missing the past few matches with a hamstring strain, said the club had a duty of care to make sure Gunnell was fit and well before allowing him to take the field.
“He’s got to go through a fitness test. We will be really testing him come Thursday. I’ll be waiting for a document or some sort of certificate to say he’s OK” Grills said.
“Secondly, he’s got to gain confidence in his own ability to play.”
Grills said Gunnell, a lifeblood of the club, offered a real presence on the ground and was an important part of the Eagles’ hopes this weekend.
“To know he is in the team gives our midfielders a lot of confidence. He’s a vital part of our team,” Grills said.
Gordon will be upbeat about its chances against the Bulldogs, having beaten them by 21 points in round 11.
The clash will be the Eagles’ third senior finals fixture since 1992 after wining an elimination final against Dunnstown in 2011. They then lost the week after to Hepburn.
Among the other injury concerns for Gordon is forward Daniel King, who hurt an ankle on Saturday against the Bombers.