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Rohan every chance to play football this year: Playfair

Mitch Cleary  March 14, 2013 8:06 PM

AFL 2011 Training - Sydney Swans 170811

Gary Rohan remains a good chance to play football in 2013

FLASHES of young Swan Gary Rohan returning to full pace have excited the club’s coaching staff, after fears grew that he may not play at all in 2013.

Swans assistant coach Henry Playfair said the sight of the luckless forward performing strongly on the training track had given everyone at the club a boost.

Reports last month suggested Rohan may not return to football this season, but Playfair said he was optimistic about the 21-year-old returning in some capacity.

“We’d like to think he’s on track to certainly play reserves at some stage in the second half of the year,” Playfair said.

“I think it’s still a bit hard to project six months down the track but if all goes well, I’d say he’d be playing reserves in the second half of the year.”

Rohan broke his leg in round four last year against North Melbourne, ultimately missing the Swans’ premiership triumph.

“He got the all-clear from the surgeon and they actually mentioned he can start pushing it a little bit,” Playfair said.

“I think once he heard everything was OK and was structurally sound, he started to trust it a bit more.

“His running has increased in the last three weeks and he’s actually starting to move a bit like the old Gary Rohan.

“We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves but you just see him stride occasionally and you think, he’s on the way back.

“He’s really keen to get back into some skills which hopefully in the next two or three weeks he’ll start doing some skills training and from there he’ll be building his conditioning base,” Playfair said.

The Swans on Thursday placed premiership defender Alex Johnson on the long-term injury list, with Playfair hinting youngster Dane Rampe was the leading contender to be promoted to the main list, after no replacement was named today.

“He’s a big chance. He’s played basically every minute of the pre-season,” Playfair said.

“We didn’t really know what to expect (with him), he was a low pick in rookie draft.

“With a few of our defenders having slow starts, he’s a big chance to get a look in.”