West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui is confident he will return to football during next year’s JLT Community Series.
The Eagles’ superstar told a curious media pack that he was on target to feature in the pre-season competition, which kicks off in late February.
“I’ve sat out for a long time now and I’m craving some sort of action. I want to play in the JLT [Series],” Naitanui declared this morning.
“That’s my goal. Whether or not it happens we will work it out with our training plan.”
Naitanui also used his time in front of the cameras to dismiss rumours that he suffered a setback in his training program recently.
The 2012 all-Australian admitted he had been taking it easy on the track this week but revealed he would join the main group on Monday.
“That’s just Perth. Rumours spread. I think I’m going to be hearing that the rest of my career, that I’ve had a setback,” Naitanui joked.
“I could train fully right at the moment but I’m just taking it easy at the moment. Myself and guys like JK [Josh Kennedy], we are easing our way back into it.
“I had a solid build up into the off-season and my downtime is now. I trained throughout the break as well, so this is my lower sessions and I will train as of next week and after the Christmas period.
“I feel really good. I’m back running, training and kicking goals, doing what I do. As of Monday, once I’m in full training, that’ll probably put some of that stuff to rest.”
Naitanui was particularly excited to mix it up with the 10 new players who joined the club during the trade and draft period.
He made no secret of the fact that he was eager to see what 2017 Bernie Naylor medallist Liam Ryan could produce this summer.
“He’s exciting to watch play. He’s got to sit on a few heads at training, but hopefully not mine,” Naitanui said.
“It’s a new era, it’s a new squad and it’s exciting. We’ve got a new brand, a new stadium and a new training facility. It’s exciting to see some of the youth coming through at the moment.”