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Guy a Grubber again

Guy O’Keefe prepares to kick in Portarlington’s ANZAC Day loss to Drysdale. (Marcel Berens Sports Photgraphy Image/Marcel Berens)

OCEAN Grove will welcome back three homegrown products in 2018, including former Leopold star Guy O’Keefe.

The 2014 Mathieson medallist, who played four games with BFL rival Portarlington in the first half of 2017 before being sidelined by injury, returns to the club along with Jack Rawlings, who spent time at Bell Park, and Kieran McNally from Newtown & Chilwell.

“Guy’s obviously a quality player and he’s just had a bad run with injury,” coach Paul Lynch said of the former Western Bulldog listed 27-year-old.

“I thought he was an outstanding player when I coached Colac.

“If we can just get his body right, he’ll add a heap to us.”

BFL: Portarlington adds a big name

As reported last week, the Grubbers have also added Luke Cartelli, who has VFL experience with Coburg and Williamstown.

The news of the arrivals comes at the same the Grubbers have confirmed they will release Brent Macleod from the second year of his contract after being offered the senior coaching position at Colac league club Apollo Bay.

krockfootball.com.au revealed on October 17 Macleod had been approached by the Hawks.

Macleod, who arrived from winning the Whitey Medal with GDFL club Thomson in 2016, finished runner-up to James Linton in Ocean Grove’s best-and-fairest and was named in the BFL Coaches’ Team of the Year.

“He has a real desire to coach, and I’ve known that ever since we took him on as a player that he has aspirations to coach one day,” Lynch said.

“The opportunity’s come up and I didn’t want to get in the road of him and to give him that opportunity.

“I wouldn’t get in the road of someone trying to play GFL footy or anyone that wants to try something or move up the chain.

“He’s a quality player and it’s disappointing to lose him, but at the same time you want him to be happy where he is.”

Aside from the retirement of veteran Liam Rock, Macleod is the only departure from Ocean Grove, which was beaten in an elimination final by Modewarre.

“Things are looking good, but we’re definitely of an understanding the whole comp’s going to get better again,” Lynch said.

“We have to get better as a club to compete with the likes of Ammos and Torquay and Barwon Heads and these sides above us.”

Twitter: @tom_king79