Laycock keen to renew  O'Donoghue battle

BURNIE ruckman Jason Laycock is eager to renew the battle with his Launceston rival Nathan O'Donoghue tomorrow.

A year ago Laycock was predicted to dominate the rucking duels and lead Burnie to its first State League premiership.

But it was O'Donoghue who won the points and was later presented with the Darrel Baldock Medal for best afield.

``I was disappointed with how I performed last year as I lowered my colours to him,'' he said.

Laycock believes he is in perfect shape both physically and mentally to turn the tables on O'Donohue and give Burnie the flag it has been craving for.

``My body is in good shape and I no longer worry about the injuries that I had before,'' he said.

The 27-year-old had a history of foot, ankle and knee injuries which restricted him to just 38 games in seven years with the Essendon Football Club.

``I've got confidence in my body now and have put all those injuries to the back of my mind,'' he said.

Laycock was still on a modified training program when he joined Burnie at the start of 2011 but this year had enjoyed a full pre-season and the results were showing on the field until he tore his hamstring in the North-West derby against Devonport on July 22.

There were early fears the injury could sideline him for several weeks but Laycock stuck to the rehabilitation schedule set by the Dockers and his return was made earlier than possible.

The vagaries of the State League roster with byes and split rounds meant he missed only one roster game and he was then ready for a return to the action.

``There were a few roster games left before the finals and I was able to play in all of them,'' he said.

Laycock will have his old coach Kevin Sheedy taking an interest in his performance at the weekend but has discounted any return to AFL football.

``My wife Alison and I and the kids are well settled in Burnie and I've signed on for the next two years,'' he said.

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