SOUTH COLAC coach Tim Foley believes the club’s newest football recruits will provide the team with what it lacked in last year’s preliminary final loss.
The Roos set out to add experience, key-position defenders and strong-bodied ball-winning midfielders this off-season.
Colac Tigers premiership player Jake O’Dwyer, returning Roo Alex Broomfield, Colac Tigers youngster Luke Nowell and Modewarre junior premiership player Brayden O’Hanlon will provide the team with extra grunt in the midfield.
“O’Dwyer, Brayden, Luke Nowell and Broomy are all strong inside midfielders with strength, which we were probably lacking in the finals,” Foley said.
“O’Dwyer will be one of the best midfielders in the comp, if not the best,” he said.
In defence, key defender Stuart Foley has come out of retirement, while Nick Dent, who played full back in the Roos’ 2011 grand final side, has returned from a knee injury.
Centre half-back Joel Menzies has also returned to the track after a ruptured spleen prematurely ended his season in round nine last year.
“Stewie’s a bit more freed up to play this season after having a second kid a couple of months ago, he and Nick Dent will be able to play key defensive roles which we were lacking a bit,” Foley said.
“Joel is like a new recruit as well, but they can all play at both ends of the field, we won’t pigeonhole them in defence,” he said.
Foley said he expected young talls Alistair Lugg, who has returned from a year at Colac, and Zach Jamieson to get senior opportunities in the ruck this season, freeing Clay Brewer and Jamieson’s brother Todd to spend more time up forward.
The fourth-year coach said teenager Mitch Perkins could also play a role in defence after making his senior debut last year.
“We still want to develop these young players like Zach and Mitch,” Foley said.
“And there’s still about four of five under-17s that will get senior opportunities this year which is good, like Jack Foley, Harry Smith, Aidan Barrow and Billy McLeod,” he said.