Bond AFL player Will Cooper was sweating on blood test results to be cleared to take part in the Bull Sharks reserves' finals campaign.
A bad dose of glandular fever sidelined the player known as ‘Dubby’ to teammates for two and a half months, and coaching staff didn’t want to risk his health in their pursuit of a flag.
“They were stoked when I told them I wanted to play again, but I had to get medical checks to make sure all my organs were strong for contact,” Cooper said.
“With glandular fever you can get liver issues, and if you get hit in your liver while it’s inflamed it can burst and you don’t want that.”
Fortunately, Cooper is now fighting fit, crediting a trip home to Tasmania for fresh air and seafood with helping speed up his recovery.
The 20-year-old had his first game back last weekend in the Bull Sharks’ commanding 66-17 win over the Coolangatta-Tweed Blues, which secured their place in the preliminary final against the Carrara Saints this Saturday at Alan Neilson Oval.
“That game was definitely a shock to the system, I definitely felt it that night around 8 o’clock,” he said.
“We’re really confident after that win. We’re really happy with the way we played, and the way we composed ourselves against Coolangatta especially after a really tight first half.”
With the seniors bowing out of the finals last weekend against the Burleigh Bombers by 32 points, it is now up to the reserves to bring home the silverware.
“Obviously, it was really devastating the seniors lost last week. No team in our club this year has won a grand final so that is definitely our goal to win one for the club.”
The Bull Sharks reserves are using last season’s runner-up tag as motivation to go one better in September. No Bond men’s reserves team has ever won a grand final.
Cooper is currently in his third year of a Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Commerce degree at Bond and is undertaking an internship with Canada-based Strategize Financial Modelling where Bond alumnus Simon Selkrig is the president.