By: JESS WEBSTER
Barrett ready to hit the ground running
There will be no one more excited to hit the track than young forward Tim Barrett when Sydney University begins pre-season training on Monday.
The 23-year-old is on the comeback from a knee reconstruction suffered in late 2015 which put him out of the game for more than a year.
Barrett’s 2015 season was cruelly cut short when he ruptured his ACL during a training session ahead of the last minor round, just as Sydney University were preparing for a maiden NEAFL finals series.
He spent all this year watching his teammates from the sidelines, ensuring he ticked every box of his rehabilitation so he can attack a new season full of steam.
Although the first few months of rehab were tough, Barrett – who had never previously missed a NEAFL game through injury – said it has only made him more hungry to get back to the top of his game.
“I didn’t think I would ever be excited for a pre-season. I guess a long-term injury does that to you,” Barrett said.
“You take everything for granted when your fit and firing, and next minute you’re on the sidelines.
“It definitely has motivated me for next season. It’s been good in that way. You go up and down during the rehab process where you have good and bad days, but in the end you are working towards that goal of just coming back and proving your point again.”
Barrett burst on to the scene in 2011 as a 17-year-old when he debuted for Sydney University and won the club’s Rising Star Award in his first senior season.
The Students entered the NEAFL the following year where Barrett continued to make his mark, earning a NEAFL Rising Star nomination after four rounds and won the club's leading goalkicker award in 2012 and 2013.
A member of the 2013 Eastern Conference Team of the Year, Barrett represented the NEAFL Under-22s against the SANFL that same year and had notched up 74 NEAFL games before his injury last year.
Under a new coach in Tom Morrison and with a fresh desire for the game, Barrett hopes 2017 will be full of highs for himself and the club.
“When you have an injury like this, you find your love for the game again,” he said.
“Even his (Morrison’s) announcement as coach has motivated me to get back playing at my best, because he is highly respected at Sydney Uni.
“Although we are losing players like Tom Young, who was a great asset to the club, he left us in good stead.
“Finals is definitely the first goal, but after making two Prelim’s in a row, I think the Grand Final is the next step for us.”
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