Injured Spirit Jason De Papi will sit on the sidelines this season, but plans to coach Across The Waves.
Injured Spirit Jason De Papi will sit on the sidelines this season, but plans to coach Across The Waves. Ron Burgin

De Papi still on sidelines

WHILE his Spirit team-mates kick off on another season, Jason De Papi will endure another frustrating six months on the sidelines.

De Papi’s season was cut short when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his knee late last season, during a game for the Bundaberg Spirit.

His injury was yet another setback for the struggling side, who went through the Queensland State League without a win and on the bottom of the ladder.

Doctors forecasted a 12-month layoff for the mid-fielder, meaning he will miss the majority of this season as well.

“By the time it’s ready to go the season will almost be over, so I decided to sit out this year too,” De Papi said.

“It’s hard to take, watching all the boys get back out there again. Very frustrating.”

He stopped short when asked if he had desires to return to the Spirit when fit, instead saying he was committed to his club Across The Waves on and off the field.

“Waves are my priority,” he said.

“I’m looking into a coaching role at the moment, because I definitely want to stay involved while I can’t play.”

De Papi is believed to have his eye on overseeing the top side to allow last season’s coach Rob Prendergast to return to the field.

His experience in higher levels of football would be an asset to the club that did not reach its top-grade potential last season.

A member of the original Spirit squad, De Papi was realistic of their chances for 2010.

“I think with a few old heads back in the side they will definitely have improved results this year,” he said.

“But if they really want to compete, I think they need to seriously look at bringing in three to five blokes who have proven themselves at high levels. That’s the only way to match these bigger sides.”



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