Dempsey Hoping For Better Times in 2009

Friday, 13 February, 2009

Essendon’s former Cairns speedster Courtenay Dempsey is glad it's 2009, writes Rebecca Williams in the Herald Sun today. Because he didn’t like 2008, she reports.

“Last year was not that good at all, I wasn't that happy with it," was Dempsey's blunt assessment yesterday of his third season with the Bombers.

Not that the 21-year-old really had much of a chance to get into it. Last season was another similar tale of frustration for Dempsey, who has been dogged by injuries in the past two years.

In 2007, he played just one game because of a severe hamstring injury and last year he managed only four matches. His season ended with a broken leg.

But the Queenslander, a first-round selection for the Bombers in the 2005 draft, said he felt ready to launch into the season after a trouble-free summer.

"It's a new year and I'm looking forward to this year," Dempsey said. "It's been a really good pre-season. Since the start, I've pretty much been able to do everything. I have settled in now and I'm slowly working my way up to full fitness. I'm looking forward to it, it's been a long time waiting for the footy to start."

Since joining the Bombers, Dempsey has played 10 games in three seasons, but he is confident of making a much bigger contribution this year.

Dempsey said he was hoping a smarter approach to his training over the pre-season would pay dividends.  "It was really frustrating last year, especially watching from the sidelines and wanting to be out there playing," he said.

"It was just frustrating continually getting injuries. I actually came back a lot fitter last year and ended up having injuries. I needed to be a bit smarter about the way that my body is and the way I go about training. It has come off really good at this stage and hopefully I can keep it that way and keep monitoring my body. The coaches are seeing that as well."

While others have had lingering problems with leg fractures, Dempsey is confident he won't have any further troubles. "It cracked, but it never went out of place," he said. "It's not worrying me at the moment which is really good, but I try to keep it out of my mind anyway."

For tonight, he is looking forward to playing his part in the bushfire appeal match at Telstra Dome against the Western Bulldogs. "It's an honour to play in the game for the bushfire victims," he said


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