The wait is over, Barry Hall will take to the field this Saturday for Labrador’s round 9 QAFL clash with the Morningside Panthers.
It’s perfect timing for Labrador with Hall being named on Tuesday night, along with Malcom Blight, Simon Goodwin and a host of other legends, as a new member of the AFL Hall of Fame. Coach Aaron Shattock believes the towering forward will attract some significant interest in the game.
“I think he’ll put bums on seats, put it that way,” said Shattock.
Hall, who’ll become the first current Hall of Famer to play in the QAFL, has attended a number of training sessions with the Tigers, so according to Shattock, should fit seamlessly into their forward structure.
“He’s actually been training with us all year,” said ‘Shats.’
“He’s been part of a lot of forward line structure stuff at training already.
“He’s been really good around the club with all the young guys and juniors and he’s actually given output and a lot of feedback and direction, so it’s been good.”
The former St Kilda, Sydney and Western Bulldogs great will come into a Labrador lineup that is yet to lose a game in 2017, but the Tigers aren’t getting too ahead of themselves.
“Obviously it’s a big challenge for our boys, to not really worry about all the external stuff,” said Shattock.
“We’ve got a job to do on Saturday, which is to hopefully get over the line against a tough Morningside who always seem to play well against us.”
The Tigers have nine games remaining for the season, of which Hall is likely to play most home games, having signed on for a minimum of five. Come finals time though, according to Shattock, there’s every chance Hall plays more games in the black and yellow.
“Hopefully he jumps on board and plays a couple extra, we’ll just have to wait and see,” said Shattock.
The QAFL finals are on the distant horizon and with second placed Palm Beach Currumbin looking threatening, Barry Hall could provide the edge they need to stay ahead of the pack.
By Sean Melrose