Sport AFL Suns re-sign Bock, Rischitelli

Suns re-sign Bock, Rischitelli

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Injury-plagued veterans Nathan Bock and Michael Rischitelli have been officially re-signed by Gold Coast for the 2014 AFL season.

Gold Coast have backed the duo to recapture their best form after battling to reach full fitness since shining in the Suns’ 2011 debut season.

“Similar to (fellow veteran) Campbell Brown, the extension of Nathan and Michael ensures we have the right balance of age and experience on our list,” Suns football manager Marcus Ashcroft said.

Ex-Crows defender Bock finished second in the Gold Coast’s 2011 best and fairest with Rischitelli third but they have been unable to maintain that consistency since.

Bock, 30, has played 140 games but only six in the past two seasons after suffering a severe broken leg against Fremantle in round six last year.

After being sidelined for more than a year, Bock’s comeback lasted less than two full games when he succumbed to soreness in a 13-point win over Melbourne on August 10.

But Ashcroft predicted Bock would return better than ever – most likely as a defender – after successfully having a 40cm steel rod removed from his troublesome right leg in the off-season.

Rischitelli, 27, has played 157 games including 11 in 2013 after suffering a dislocated elbow against Essendon in round 12.

He forced his way back into the team to play the final two games of 2013.

Ashcroft said Bock and Rischitelli’s contract extensions boosted their squad to 37 for 2014.

It will be a full list of 40 after this month’s AFL Draft, where the Suns will utilise selections five, 20 and 27.