Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Cup Hopes for Grills; Aussie Rules Player Put Football Away and Picks Up Racquet

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Cup Hopes for Grills; Aussie Rules Player Put Football Away and Picks Up Racquet

Article excerpt

Byline: Gerard Walsh gerard.walsh@warwickdailynews.com.au

POLOCROSSE: If the final goes down to the wire in the Adina Polocrosse World Cup, the odds are Australian player Jim Grills will be the fittest man standing.

Not only does he get fit riding horses, he trains and plays with the Albury Tigers in top-grade Aussie rules.

Two two-hour Tigers training sessions, gym work and riding horses four hours a day will make Grills one of the fittest players at the World Cup.

"The fitness and strength from footy will help me in high pressure situations in the World Cup." he said.

A World Cup final will be 24 minutes for the men, that is only a quarter of the time of an Aussie rules game.

A winger, Grills plays a bit of time in the forwards for a team which he won three successive premierships. The team also includes Daniel Cross, a retired AFL player with 249 games to his credit.

"I have won Aussies rules premierships and polocrosse titles at the nationals, the only one which has eluded me is World Cup polocrosse," he said.

"I set out four years ago, after the last cup, to be part of a winning team in 2019."

He missed three games due to the polocrosse nationals in Warwick in 2012 which was his AFL draft year at the age of 18.

"A couple of VFL clubs spoke to me but nothing happened with me joining a club," he said.

"I don't regret playing at the nationals as I made the Australian open team at the time."

Six years on, he is the youngest man in the Australian World Cup team.

Starting in the VFL is one way for players to press for a club contract in the AFL.

Initially Grills was likely to play rugby union after being part of an ACT Brumbies under-14 side.

He was a flyhalf or inside centre in rugby.

"I wasn't the strongest kid in the squad and you had to do less tackling in Aussie rules," he said. …

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