11/9/2014 - Al Hattersley is back in the Orange Emus’ front row for the 2014 Blowes Clothing Cup grand final.

HATS OFF: Al Hattersley is set to play his first grand final since 2003, and his first with Emus in tomorrow's first grade decider.  Photo: MATT FINDLAY 0909mfhatsHATS OFF: Al Hattersley is set to play his first grand final since 2003, and his first with Emus in tomorrow’s first grade decider. Photo: MATT FINDLAY 0909mfhats

THE last time Orange Emus’ Al Hattersley graced the field in a grand final he was playing colts firsts for North Sydney – as a winger.

That was way back in 2003. Eleven years on, he gets another chance to feature in a decider, this time in the front-row, in tomorrow’s Blowes Clothing Cup grand final against Dubbo Kangaroos, at Dubbo’s No.1 Oval.

The speedster-come-hooker-come-prop has been named in Emus’ No.1 loosehead jersey and becomes the final cog in the greens’ powerful front-row trio alongside hooker Tom Goolagong and Nas Havealeta, Emus’ tighthead prop and wrecking ball.

After leaving the club following the 2011 season, Hattersley spent two years toiling away for Trangie in the GrainCorp Cup Northern Division before returning to Endeavour Oval midway through 2014.

“I made a promise to someone I would have a run with Trangie, and I really enjoyed my time out there,” he said.

“But with a youngster at home now the reduction of travel has been great, and my last game for Emus was our preliminary final loss to Orange City in 2011.

“I didn’t want that to be my last hurrah with Emus.”

A former first grade skipper, president of Emus and Blowes Clothing Cup player of the year, Hattersley started his return to the club as somewhat of a Mr Fix-It before irresistible form, and a wealth of experience, forced Emus’ coach Andrew Logan to pick him in the top flight.

“When I came back I spoke to Baz (Barry Ruddy, Emus’ third grade coach) and asked if I could play down there,” Hattersley explained.

“As the season went on I started reserving for the lower grades and eventually got picked in ones. I never wanted to take anyone’s position, or step on any toes when I came back. But, the coaches will do what they do, and I’ve always been happy to play wherever picked.

“I’m happy to be in ones, but I certainly won’t take this opportunity for granted.”

Hattersley went on to say tomorrow’s decider could potentially be his last game for the club, and explained the hunger for success his side is currently embodying.

“Whatever the sport, or level, you want to be there at the end of the season and want to be able to say your side was the best,” he said.

“We’re all keen, and I’m not sure but I might walk away after this season. That decision might get left until after next year’s pre-season but with a child who will be a year older by then it makes sense.

“We aren’t counting our chickens, but having the result go our way would be a great way to finish.”

taken from http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/2553111/hattersley-props-up-emus-front-row-for-grand-final/?cs=104

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