By Les Muir

IT WAS never intended to work out this way, but Tumut coach Jarrad Teka is up for the challenge of leading the Blues into the Group Nine finals.

Three years after playing what he thought was his last game, the 36-year-old has turned back the clock to pull on his old jumper again.

With Tumut in the throes of a player shortage because of injuries, Teka will play five-eighth for the Blues in the vital game against Temora at Nixon Park on Sunday.

Tumut is currently a clear fourth on the ladder, but needs to keep winning to maintain their place, or possibly climb even higher.

Heading into the critical dice with sixth-placed Temora, Teka is prepared for whatever the Dragons throw at him.

“I actually played last week against Tumbarumba,” Teka said on Thursday.

“We’ve got a few injuries and there wasn’t much else to do.”

Teke is adamant the comeback was completely unplanned.

“I was never going to be playing,” he said.

“It’s just come about.”

For Teka, last week’s unscheduled return to action certainly left its mark.

“I was short of match fitness for sure,” he said.

“I felt the contact as well.”

Teka’s return against the Greens was his first game since playing for Tuggeranong in 2014.

Significantly, the playmaker has only previously played one season with Tumut – and the Blues eclipsed the Group Nine title in 2008.

Even now Teka is unsure whether he will extend his stay at Tumut beyond this year.

Teka  said it is only a “50-50” call on whether he decides to have another season.

“It’s a long drive from Canberra, but I enjoy the role,” he said.

Teka lives and works in the ACT and commutes to training with Tumut and to games.



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