K rock Football

Hawks add classy midfielder

Drysdale recruit Ben Fennell. (Image supplied)

DRYSDALE has beaten out several local clubs for the signature of former Essendon and Collingwood VFL midfielder Ben Fennell.

Fennell, who played with Northern League club Greensborough this year, has chosen the Hawks to continue his football career ahead of a planned move to Curlewis with his fiancée and daughter.

“He reached out to us and said he wanted to play footy down here,” Drysdale co-coach Ben Carmichael said.

“He had a little bit of interest from a few clubs down here, but it’s fantastic for our area that guys like Ben that moved to the area want to play for their local club and be part of the community.

“He’s going to add a really skilful, quick midfielder that can kick goals, which we think we need.”

Fennell spent three years on Collingwood’s list and three with Essendon, with his first season wiped out by a serious knee injury.

The 29-year-old managed six VFL games with the Bombers across 2018-19.

Fennell, who also played in the Northern League with Montmorency and Hurstbridge, managed 45 goals across 28 games in his two seasons at Greensborough and was named in the 2019 NFL Team of the Year.

“Losing a couple out of our midfield with Josh Eddy and Shane Murdoch retiring, it gives us a different look in there,” Carmichael said.

“We’re really excited with what Ben can bring.”

The addition of Fennell follows the return of Tom Ruggles to Mortimer Oval as co-coach alongside Carmichael and the arrival of St Albans star Bill Beardsell.

Carmichael hasn’t ruled out further inclusions but is mindful of an influx of players onto Drysdale’s senior list, with the under-19 age group being changed back to under-18s in 2022.

“We’re pretty excited about giving a lot of those guys more opportunity,” he said. “But, there’s a couple more we’ll try and have a go at.

“We’re pretty fortunate with our points. Because we’ve got so many one-pointers, we’ve got a little bit of room to move.

“We might go after another couple, but we’ll just see how it plays out.”

Drysdale will commence pre-season training on November 22.

Twitter: @tom_king79