BENDIGO Pioneer Kobe Mutch was never going to let a frustrating foot injury stop him from showing his wares at the AFL Draft Combine.
While he was unable to complete all the testing at the four-day AFL Draft Combine at Etihad Stadium following his foot injury – a peroneal tendon tear – Mutch was still determined to put his best foot forward.
“I only had a couple of weeks of training leading up to it, so I was a bit underdone, but I thought I handled myself alright and gave it everything I had,” Mutch said this week.
Mutch’s foot injury was suffered two months ago at the back end of what has been a hectic year of football for the 18-year-old from Gol Gol, who is a member of the GWS Academy.
“I was in a moon boot for three or four weeks and about five weeks ago I got out of it and have just been gradually trying to build up my strength and endurance,” Mutch said.
I was a bit underdone, but I thought I handled myself alright and gave it everything I had
“I wasn’t able to do the repeat sprints or beep test last week because it’s not quite up to that yet, but in the other testing I just wanted to get out there and compete and show that I’m not using my injury as an excuse.
“It was a draining few days at the Combine… after some interviews and doing physical testing it catches up with you, but it was great to be part of it and seeing where you’re at.”
Described as a prolific ball-winner with a high work-rate, Mutch’s 2016 season has included playing games with the Pioneers in the TAC Cup, the GWS Academy, Allies, NSW/ACT and AFL-AIS Academy, which toured America earlier this year.
The Geelong supporter was named on the interchange in the All-Australian team following the Under-18 National Championships, while in his four games with the Pioneers, he averaged 34 disposals and seven marks.
“I’ve played under a few different coaches this year and it’s good to see what they all have to say, and playing with different groups of players and making a lot of friends has been really good, too,” said Mutch, who relocated to Bendigo last year.
With the four-day Draft Combine, where he was interviewed by 12 clubs, over and the AFL Draft still more than a month away – it will be held in Sydney on Friday, November 25 – Mutch has plenty to keep him occupied with his Year 12 exams.
“They start in a couple of weeks, so I’ll be studying for them,” Mutch said.
As well as Mutch, the Bendigo Pioneers also had 2016 skipper Joe Atley test at the AFL Draft Combine.