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Kerr unscathed in return

JLT Highlights | Carlton v St Kilda The Blues and Saints clash in the JLT.

PAT Kerr made his return from a lengthy injury layoff in the Northern Blues’ drawn practice match yesterday.

Kerr fronted up for his first appearance since July 8 last year, marking the end of nearly eight months out of the game.

Introduced to the match in the second quarter, Kerr emerged unscathed as the Blues fought out a 7. 14. (56) apiece draw against Sandringham.

The young forward said the evening presented a number of positives, both from an individual and team perspective.

“It was really good, especially since it wasn’t just bashing into your mates and finally coming up against a different opposition,” Kerr said post-match.

“Having had hip surgery at the back end of last year, it’s been over seven months since my last proper game which was exciting.

“The second quarter took a long time to work into, the conditions were hard to get used to but once we got our movement going it was easier to get involved.”

Pat Kerr is entering his second season in the navy blue. (Photo: AFL Media)

Despite kicking out to a 20-point lead midway through the last quarter, the Blues were unable to hold on against the breeze as the match finished all square.

Kerr said the old adage that close pre-season games are the best ones rung true yesterday, with Northern to take some key learnings out of it.

“Both teams were absolutely going all out trying to win and each team tried different things: we’ll have a look at the game and see what worked and what didn’t work,” Kerr said.

“Hopefully when the next close game comes around again, we’ll be able to edge over the line.”

While pre-season will be used to fine-tune things heading into the home-and-away season, Kerr said the cohesion between AFL and VFL Blues was one thing which fired from the start.

“That connection we’ve got between us is pretty unique I think: a lot of us played junior footy with the Northern Blues boys, the relationship is really strong,” Kerr said.

With game one ticked off after eight months out, Kerr said the equation was simple as the preparation for the year continues to heat up.

“Coming off a bit of sickness and making my way back after a while out, I’m just focussing on building to full fitness and attacking the season head-on,” Kerr said.

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