Geelong defender Jackson Thurlow has a foot in both camps ahead of Saturday’s AFL Grand Final.
The 2011 Launceston premiership player is a former teammate of West Coast ruckman Nathan Vardy and Collingwood speedster Travis Varcoe, who left Geelong in 2016 and 2014 respectively.
Thurlow said he would be happy for whichever of his ex-teammates tasted premiership success and that both teams would be worthy winners.
“The 2011 grand final that Geelong won, Nathan Vardy got injured in the semi-final and didn’t end up getting to play, and on the other side of that Travvy Varcoe was a star in that game and I think he kicked a couple,” Thurlow said.
“Travvy’s probably had a bit more experience in terms of big games and finals footy, but knowing how Vards is he’ll throw everything at it and he’ll have a lot of fun while he does it - he’s a bit of a character.”
Thurlow will front Launceston’s grand final breakfast on Saturday alongside a host of AFL players including Michael Hurley and fellow ex-Blues Jesse Lonergan and Tom Bellchambers.
“It’s exciting,” Thurlow said of returning to his hometown club.
“I still keep a close eye on the results through the internet and my family keeps a close eye down there.
“The development league had a good win this year and the seniors fell short, but they’re building a really nice culture down there and it’s exciting to get back - especially with Jesse who I played a lot of junior footy with.”
Thurlow has struggled to get a clean run at senior football in the past three seasons after missing 2016 with a knee injury and sitting on the fringe of the Cats’ best 22 in 2017 and 2018.
The 24-year-old is yet to be offered a contract for 2019 but is confident of retaining his spot on an AFL list into next season.
“I’m just seeing how everything plays out,” the former No.16 draft pick said.
“It’s a bit hard at the the moment to really know what that will be which is a little bit scary because there’s a lot of uncertainty about it, but I guess that’s the way the AFL industry is.
“Sometimes you’re contracted for two or three years and life’s pretty good, and then all of a sudden you’re out of contract and not knowing what’s going to happen.
“What will happen will happen and hopefully it does fall my way … I definitely want another crack at it and I’ll see where that takes me.”
Thurlow averaged 15 touches and three inside-50s across seven games in 2018.
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