West Park gets heart pumping

*(1/2)HE’S played in front of thousands of screaming fans at the MCG, but Russell Robertson has never played a senior game at West Park.
HangZhou Night Net

That will all change tomorrow when the former Melbourne great runs out for Burnie against Launceston.

To say the full-forward is excited about the homecoming is an understatement.

“I’ve only played a handful of games there and none of them have been in the seniors,” Robertson said.

“After all these years playing in Victoria I feel like I’ve got to do this and it’s great I can get a game on West Park.

“Hopefully there is a good crowd there to see some good quality football.”

Robertson’s West Park debut could not be more timely, with Burnie squaring off against the Blues for the first time since last year’s grand final.

With Robertson expecting plenty of close attention, both tactically and verbally, Melbourne’s four- time leading goal kicker hopes to take some of the pressure off some of his younger Dockers team- mates.

“There always is a little bit of niggle wherever I play,” he said.

“Guys get into you, but that’s football.

“You use what you can to get an edge and I’m used to it.”

After slotting six goals against Devonport in round one, Robertson proved he will be more than just a shield from opposition barbs during his five-game stint with the Dockers.

He hopes to pick up from where he left off.

“It was a torrid evening in Devonport for the last game, when the weather came in, but I felt I did my job,” he said.

“Part of that was to teach some of the younger guys in the forward line who have lots of talent.

“I know Planty (coach Brent Plant) very well, and I’ve got to know the guys at the club and they are great blokes.

“I’m really looking forward to getting out and having a run with them again.”

With plans to hang up the boots at the end of the season, Robertson, the coach of St Joseph’s in the Geelong Football League, is desperate to win a premiership before his playing days are over.

“The last premiership I played in was with the reserves at the Dockers in 1996,” he said.

“Whether it’s with St Joseph’s or Burnie, I want another one.”

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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