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Redlegs prepare to Rocca you

Ex-AFL star Anthony Rocca will pull on the boots for Tallygaroopna on Saturday when the Redlegs take on Violet Town in Kyabram District Football League.

OLIVER CAFFREY May 8, 2014 3:15am

Former Collingwood forward Anthony Rocca will play his second one-off game for Tallygaroopna, when the Redlegs take on Violet Town.


Anthony Rocca has played football for a long time.

During almost 30 years involved in the game at junior, country and AFL level, his dedicated parents have rarely missed a game.

They will again be watching from the sidelines as the former Collingwood and Sydney forward runs out for Tallygaroopna against Violet Town on Saturday.

Rocca will make a second one-off appearance in Kyabram District Football League after kicking six goals for the Redlegs against Stanhope last year.

‘‘They’ve been to a lot of games, my mum and dad, pretty much every game at Collingwood and Sydney and even when I played at West Preston, Morwell and now at Tally,’’ Rocca said.

‘‘Dad reckons he’s only missed one or two throughout my whole career and Mum and Dad will be there on Saturday with a couple of my mates.’’

Rocca is looking forward to pulling on the boots again after last playing with Gippsland league side Morwell in June.

The Redlegs are winless after five rounds and sitting on the bottom of the ladder.

‘‘I’m feeling pretty good, I try to do a little bit of fitness stuff here and there, but it will be a bit of a test getting out there again,’’ Rocca said.

‘‘I’ll be playing out of the goal square and hopefully I can cause some contests to bring a few balls to ground so the smaller guys can kick a few goals.

‘‘We couldn’t quite get there last year, but hopefully we’ll be able to have a win and make it a good night for the club.’’

Rocca will train with the Redlegs tonight before playing golf with club members tomorrow.

Rocca will be joined by Tallygaroopna-raised Collingwood player Steele Sidebottom and fellow Magpies star Dayne Beams for a function before the match.

Tallygaroopna president Dave Davis said the club was keenly looking forward to Rocca’s arrival after a tough start to the season.

‘‘There’s a buzz around the club and something the club has been working towards for a while,’’ Davis said.

‘‘We’ve got people coming from as far away as Mildura, so hopefully the weather holds out and we get a really crowd out there.’’

Chris Earles will again act as caretaker coach after the resignation of former mentor Matt Mahony two weeks ago.

Violet Town coach Sean Horsburgh said it was a huge game for the Towners after big defeats in recent weeks.

‘‘Obviously they will want to have a win in front of a big crowd and we haven’t had the greatest start to the season,’’ Horsburgh said.

‘‘I think it’s massive, we’re trying to get in to that bottom half of the six and if we drop this game we will be losing touch, so it’s a game we need to win.

‘‘We’ve played good patches of football, but we’ve leaked goals near the end of games, so we’re not finishing the way we would’ve liked.

‘‘The biggest key is to get it out of the middle and get first use of the footy to prevent Rocca from getting his hands on it.’’

The return of Joel Hearn and Lachie Morrison will boost the Towners.

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