Milestone return for MacLeod

Milestone return for MacLeod

Thomson spearhead Jackson MacLeod admits he was inundated with well wishes ahead of his on field return on Saturday.

A club social media post notified Thomson fans that the 34-year-old was set to line-up for his 300th open-age game ahead of the Tigers’ reserves clash against Belmont Lions.

Though the Tigers suffered a 14.11 (95) to 9.3 (57) defeat to the home side, MacLeod starred with three goals on return from a Lisfranc injury which had seen him sidelined since Round 15, last year.

“I want to thank everyone that has reached out to me,” MacLeod said.

“We tried to fly under the radar because we didn’t know how the body was going to go.”

The celebrated 300-game tally includes his stint with Apollo Bay in 2018 as well as his countless representative appearances for the GDFNL’s Raiders line-up.

And he still remembers his first game in Round 1, 2006 like it was yesterday.

“Tom Harriot was senior coach and I was training with the seniors,” MacLeod reflected.

“I didn’t really expect it but I got named and I was shocked, I thought I would be playing at 10am in the under-18s.”

At 16 years and five days, MacLeod was the youngest to line-up in the Tigers’ season opening clash against Werribee Centrals.

By year’s end, he would climb the premiership dais to cap off the Tigers’ championship season.

“I don’t think I did very well in the first game, probably got two kicks but it was a good experience,” he added.

“I’m grateful for him putting the faith in me for being so young.”

Two years later, he would collect a second premiership medal. This one proved to be even sweeter as he celebrated the triumph alongside his younger brother and future Whitley medallist Brent.

His quest for a third now enters its 16th year.

Could this be the year?

At present, the Thomson legend is content with focussing on his return to the field.

“For a long time, I have only been able to play for ten games per year and the covid years did not help,” he concluded.

MacLeod has been named to line-up in Thomson’s reserves clash against Inverleigh.

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