Matt Eagles had his first taste of AFL in 2018 and has been craving for more ever since. That’s why the 29-year-old is ‘extremely grateful and relieved’ to be offered a lifeline and remain on the Lions rookie list for another year in 2020.
In November 2019, Eagles was re-rookied by the Club, along with Corey Lyons, Archie Smith and Sam Skinner.
“I want to play AFL,” Eagles told lions.com.au.
“Since I got injured in 2018, I’ve had that hunger to get back in.”
Eagles made his AFL debut in Round 7, 2018’s clash against Collingwood and would go on to play another four games that year. The highlight for him being Round 9’s win against Hawthorn, where he kicked his first goal and set the Gabba alight.
The months that followed the elation of making his long-awaited debut at the age of 28, were filled with frustration. Eagles suffered abdominal and groin problems and eventually had surgery on his groin.
His 2019 campaign was interrupted at the start of the season and only in the back half of the year did he find consistency in his body and form.
The defender would go on to play in the NEAFL’s premiership win over the Southport Sharks and won the Andrew Ireland medal, as the best player of the match.
“Last year was a struggle but the body’s fit this year and I’m keen to get back there and build some form up early on, instead of end of season like last year,” he said.
“Body’s 100% and I’m looking forward to getting some game time in the pre-season practice matches.”