Canadian Football League

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Canadian Football League turning to veterans

First Sean Millington. Now, Hank Ilesic?
Metro, a free Toronto daily, reported Tuesday that the Ottawa Renegades invited the 45-year-old punter to a tryout in Toronto on Tuesday.
"We need a good punter, and if Hank can get the ball downfield even half as well as he used to, we'll sign him," an unidentified Renegades executive told Metro. "It's our information that he's in terrific shape and can still kick the heck out of the ball."
The six-foot-one Ilesic, who holds several CFL kicking records, is a muscular 250 pounds these days. He weighs 30 pounds more than he did when he initially ended his punting career with the Argos in 1993.
"I work out every day and I have less than seven per cent body fat on me now," said Ilesic, who started his CFL career in 1977 as a 17-year-old. "I should probably be coming back as a linebacker, not a punter."
The Renegades are looking for kicking help because Pat Fleming has a broken thumb.
"Coming back again would be nice," Ilesic said. "There's no doubt in my mind that I can help any team in the CFL. I'm not kicking as well as I used to kick — I'm kicking better."
Ilesic, who owns a successful marketing agency in suburban Mississauga, has been asked to help out CFL teams in the past.
Most recently, in 2001, the Edmonton Eskimos persuaded him to come out of retirement to replace the injured Sean Fleming.
On Monday, the 37-year-old Millington came out of retirement to rejoin the Toronto Argonauts.


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