Brisbane’s third choice ruckman Stefan Martin is hoping to make up for lost time and help secure his AFL future against GWS at the Gabba.
Time is running out for Stefan Martin to guarantee his AFL future.
But Brisbane’s third-choice ruckman will get his best chance yet to show he has what it takes against lowly Greater Western Sydney at the Gabba on Saturday night.
In just his sixth game since 2012, injury-plagued Martin will line up against Giants ruckman and ex-Sydney premiership winner Shane Mumford who leads the competition in hitouts (42.3 a game average).
Fresh from outpointing the Western Bulldogs’ All Australian Will Minson in his 2014 debut last round, Martin knows another good showing will go a long way to a contract extension.
But the clock is ticking – in six weeks, No.1 ruckman Matthew Leuenberger is due to return from a knee injury.
“Realistically, it is the last chance to prove myself,” Martin said.
“I missed all of last year with injury and the first half of this year as well.
“I started wondering whether I’d keep doing them (hamstrings) my whole career.
“You never know if you’re going to overcome that.”
Incredibly, Martin has torn his hamstring three times since November.
Overall, Martin has been restricted to 63 games in seven seasons due to various ailments.
Injury has hampered his AFL career but it might yet help kick-start it again.
Apart from Leuenberger, the Lions’ ruckman stocks were also hit hard by Trent West’s recent season-ending knee injury.
He nabbed 17 disposals, 32 hit-outs and six clearances in his first outing of 2014 after just two reserves games, inspiring a last-round win over the Western Bulldogs – Brisbane’s second straight.
“I got through an AFL game and I guess that’s a pretty good test. I’ve got confidence in my body now,” Martin said.
The Lions (16th; 3-8 record) will aim for three straight wins when they line up against the Giants (18th; 2-9; lost past eight).
They have thrashed GWS to date, kicking 37 goals to 14 and winning by a combined 152 points in their two encounters.
Inspirational Giants co-captain Phil Davis returns since suffering a serious kidney injury in round one.