K rock Football

Coutas go hard on recruiting

Queenscliff coach Steve Clark. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

AN aggressive and targeted recruiting campaign has Queenscliff primed for a quick return to BFL finals action.

After a disappointing 2019 campaign in which the Coutas used 46 players at senior level due to an unprecedented injury list, coach Steve Clark has used the earlier-than-hoped-for end to the season to start assembling his list for next year.

“We’ve been really specific with our recruiting, and been on the ball nice and early, and we’ve been lucky enough to get a few of the guys over the line,” he said.

“I found over the years that part of recruiting is that you need connections and if there’s no connection, and you’ve got to draw them from somewhere and eight other clubs are speaking to them, that’s potentially going to be money (related) and maybe not long-term.

“So, we really tried to target guys that had a connection down here, and we knew that they’d be great for the footy club both on and off the ground.

“It’s just fallen into place for us in that regard.”


Among the new faces are two-time St Joseph’s premiership player Paul Dreher, whose girlfriend plays netball with the club.

An Ocean Grove junior, the 25-year-old played 109 senior games for Joeys.

The Coutas have also added Shaun Comerford and brothers Ryan and Jack Baker from Bendigo league preliminary finalists Gisborne.

Comerford, who has played more than 200 senior Bendigo league games, is the grandson of Coutas life members Bill and Peg Comerford.

Both Bakers spent time with the Calder Cannons in the-then TAC Cup system.

Two-time Lorne premiership player Sean Holroyd has arrived at the Monahan Centre, along with former St Mary’s duo Nick Maishman and Lachie Moorfoot, with all three attending the same high school.

2018 recruit Nick Aringo is back at the club, with Clark also hoping to see more of Brayden Warren, Rory Fairbairn and Brock Thompson in 2020.

“Brayden spent a year away with study, and Rory’s a doctor who was down in Daylesford, but he’s now back in Geelong,” Clark said.

Thompson has battled shoulder injuries since winning Queenscliff’s best-and-fairest in 2015 but managed seven reserves matches late in 2019.

“It was good to see him be able to put some games together and get some confidence in his shoulder,” Clark said.

“We’re looking forward to getting him back in the 2 o’clock team.”

Clark confirmed one departure, with Jack Exell to play in Melbourne due to work commitments.

The Coutas start pre-season training on Wednesday, November 13.

Twitter: @tom_king79