After taking a ‘cautious approach’ with his recovery from injury, Blake Acres is looking forward to pulling the Fremantle jumper on for the first time when taking on his former team St Kilda at Metricon Stadium on Saturday.
Acres arrived at Fremantle in October’s Telstra AFL Trade Period and eight months later he will make his first Freo appearance after playing 75 games for the Saints between 2014 and 2019.
“I’m pumped, obviously I’ve had a tough couple of months with a few injuries. I’m happy to be over them now and I get to play on the weekend,” Acres said.
The 24-year-old injured his hamstring in early March just days after collecting 31 disposals in a Marsh Community Series game against Carlton.
After recovering from the injury in the shutdown period, Acres picked up a cork to his calf in a match simulation in Freo’s final training session before heading to the hub on the Gold Coast.
He returned to footy last weekend in a scratch match for non-selected players against Adelaide.
“It’s been a long time, I think it was 16 weeks since I last played a proper game (in the Marsh Series),” Acres said.
“I suppose I can take a bit of confidence out of that game, I found a bit of the footy that day and hopefully, I can get back to that form as quick as I can, that would be a good thing.
“Coming off a hamstring injury, we took a cautious approach and had another two to three week build up (after the calf injury).
“I got through the game on the weekend and the coach was happy with how I looked, moved and played. So I have my chance this week to represent the jumper for the first time.”
Acres has been named on the interchange for the Saints clash but he is expected to feature predominately on the wing.
“I’m pumped with that (the wing role), when I first came over here, that’s what we first spoke about, getting locked down in one role and not getting moved around a bit like I have in the past,” Acres said.
“If I’ve got to move in some positions during the game, that’s fine, it will be mostly wing for me and I’ll be loving being settled in there.”
Acres said he wouldn’t be against moving into the engine room in a handful of stoppages.
“I’ll try to get in there a bit. Wouldn’t mind getting into a few of their boys,” Acres said.
“When I can, I’ll crack in and try to give us a good balance around the stoppages when I have to.”