Injury blow to ’Naki quest

Dream on hold.

Dream on hold.

Former Poverty Bay captain James Grogan leads the charge in a Heartland Championship game against King Country. Grogan is facing a season off after suffering a knee injury while playing for Spotswood United in the Taranaki premier club competition. Picture by Paul Rickard

Former Poverty Bay captain James Grogan’s dream of making the Taranaki ITM squad is on hold after tearing ligaments in his right knee.

“I’m down to have surgery around the end of the month, which will put me out for the rest of the year,” said the 21-year-old, who was in town at the weekend to watch brother Willy play for OBM.

It is the second serious knee injury Grogan has suffered. He ruptured the ligaments in his left knee in a Heartland Championship game against South Canterbury in September of 2016.

The former New Zealand Heartland under-19 player, and member of many Hurricanes age group camps during his time at Gisborne Boys’ High School, is determined to overcome this latest injury and achieve his goal.

“It’s a setback . . . but I came back from one knee injury; I’ll come back from another.”

Grogan, who was named the Bay’s best forward last season, joined Taranaki’s Spotswood United club at the beginning of this year, with the aim of securing an ITM spot.

Everything was going well until he injured his ACL ligament playing touch while warming up for Spotswood in February.

That put him out of action for 12 weeks but he battled back to regain a starting spot in a team featuring former GBHS players Micaiah Torrance-Reid and Jared Proffit.

“I did this latest injury against Inglewood a couple of weeks ago,” said Grogan.

“It was hard to take at the time but it has happened, and I’m determined to do whatever it takes to get it right.”

The 21-year-old plumber has time on his side and, as he has shown in the past, is a battler.

Bay assistant coach Dwayne Russell said he felt for Grogan.

“We were sorry to lose him to Taranaki but Mana (Otai, Bay coach) and I wanted to see him succeed,” Russell said.

“We both believe he has the ability and commitment to make it at ITM Cup level.

“He’s a player who leads from the front. He’s mature beyond his years and earned the respect of all the players last year.”

Former Poverty Bay captain James Grogan’s dream of making the Taranaki ITM squad is on hold after tearing ligaments in his right knee.

“I’m down to have surgery around the end of the month, which will put me out for the rest of the year,” said the 21-year-old, who was in town at the weekend to watch brother Willy play for OBM.

It is the second serious knee injury Grogan has suffered. He ruptured the ligaments in his left knee in a Heartland Championship game against South Canterbury in September of 2016.

The former New Zealand Heartland under-19 player, and member of many Hurricanes age group camps during his time at Gisborne Boys’ High School, is determined to overcome this latest injury and achieve his goal.

“It’s a setback . . . but I came back from one knee injury; I’ll come back from another.”

Grogan, who was named the Bay’s best forward last season, joined Taranaki’s Spotswood United club at the beginning of this year, with the aim of securing an ITM spot.

Everything was going well until he injured his ACL ligament playing touch while warming up for Spotswood in February.

That put him out of action for 12 weeks but he battled back to regain a starting spot in a team featuring former GBHS players Micaiah Torrance-Reid and Jared Proffit.

“I did this latest injury against Inglewood a couple of weeks ago,” said Grogan.

“It was hard to take at the time but it has happened, and I’m determined to do whatever it takes to get it right.”

The 21-year-old plumber has time on his side and, as he has shown in the past, is a battler.

Bay assistant coach Dwayne Russell said he felt for Grogan.

“We were sorry to lose him to Taranaki but Mana (Otai, Bay coach) and I wanted to see him succeed,” Russell said.

“We both believe he has the ability and commitment to make it at ITM Cup level.

“He’s a player who leads from the front. He’s mature beyond his years and earned the respect of all the players last year.”

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