K rock Football

Port lures former Seagull out of retirement

Ed Mitchell in action for Barwon Heads in the 2018 BFL Grand Final. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

NEW Portarlington coach Pete O’Connor has tapped into his Barwon Heads link by luring former star defender Ed Mitchell out of retirement.

Mitchell, who played the last of his 122 games for the Seagulls in their grand final loss to Modewarre in 2018, spent three years under O’Connor after both arrived at Howard Harmer Oval ahead of the 2012 season.

O’Connor says they approached Mitchell, who was named at full-back in the 2017 BFL Team fo the Year, late last year about pulling on the boots again.

“He thought about it before Christmas, but a couple of weeks ago he decided to get on board,” O’Connor said.

“Ed could have gone back and played at Barwon Heads, but I don’t think he had any real designs on playing football again.

“But after conversations with ‘Joffa’ (Portarlington football boss Geoff Miles) and I, and we explained what we were trying to do at Port and the situation they were in, he said, “I’d rather help out than not, and look back and say ‘geez, why didn’t I?’.”

“So he’s agreed to come on board for 12 months. He’ll play 14-15 games, and he’ll help us run the backline – on-field and off – as well.”

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Portarlington also secured the services of former Geelong Falcon Jal Makuey from Colac, who is good friends with current Demon and former Tiger Clay Mulgrew, as well as ex-Queenscliff and Bell Park midfielder Blake Natoli, and former Modwarre and Colac player Brayden O’Hanlon.

O’Connor is also looking forward to seeing what the experienced Nick Woodhams, who has spent time with Northern Territory powerhouse St Mary’s while stationed in Darwin with the Army, can add to Ron Evans Oval.

“He’s been terrific on the track bringing these young kids on,” O’Connor said.

“I’m hoping that on-field we won’t go into panic mode or meltdown mode when things turn a little bit.”

The Demons take to the field for practice matches against Williamstown CYMS and Moonee Valley before consecutive home matches against reigning premier Barwon Heads on April 4 and Newcomb on Good Friday to start their season.

Twitter: @tom_king79