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Eagles reject Worthington
Eagles reject Worthington

Dual Olympian Mark Worthington will stick with basketball after failing in his bid to convince AFL club West Coast he could switch sports.

The 29-year-old was trialled by the Eagles on Tuesday, with club officials having said the 202cm Worthington showed impressive skills given he has not played competitive football for more than a decade.

But while the Eagles had been considering recruiting Worthington to their rookie list under special rules related to players from other sports, they said on Thursday it would not be happening.

"For a number of reasons, we have decided against doing this, but primarily it is around his age," Eagles football manager Neale Daniher said on the club's website.

"It was still very tempting and Mark is a very impressive young man.

"While this opportunity did not eventuate, I would like to wish him every success with his basketball career."

Worthington had been viewed as a back-up ruck option, although the Eagles already boast the AFL's best ruck brigade, with star pair Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui and emerging youngster Scott Lycett.

The Boomers regular, who captained the now-defunct South Dragons to the NBL title in 2009, will now join Serbian basketball club Radnicki.

"I really enjoyed testing myself out at a different code, one that I enjoyed playing as a junior," Worthington said.

"Ultimately however making a switch of codes at this stage of my career was always going to be a long shot and they've decided not to proceed.

"I'm satisfied that I can now head over to my new club in Serbia and refocus on my basketball career."

The news was welcomed by Basketball Australia, whose chairman Scott Derwin said Worthington was not only a star of the national team but an outstanding ambassador for the sport.