K rock Football

Roos confident in replacements

Anglesea has farewelled midfielder Matt O’Dwyer. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

NEW Anglesea coach Paul Nigro is confident last year’s BFL preliminary finalist has replaced what they’ve lost with their off-season recruiting.

The Roos have confirmed the departure of star midfielder Matt O’Dwyer to Central Murray club Barham-Koondrook, joining Dale Carson (retired), Marcus Smith (retired) and James Edmonds (Melbourne) as departures from the team that lose to eventual premier Modewarre in the second last week of the season.

Ben Jaska, who played 13 senior games in 2018, has headed up the Surf Coast Highway to join brother Josh at St Mary’s.

While disappointed to lose O’Dwyer, Nigro hasn’t ruled out the former Sydney Swan returning to the club in 2020.

“One of his best mates he’s known for a number of years, he wants to have a year with him up on the Murray,” Nigro said.

“It might only be a 12-month thing. He’s certainly gone with our best wishes and the door’s certainly open if he decides to come back.

“If he knocks on the door at the end of this year to come back, he’s certainly welcome.”

BFL: INS & OUTS

On the plus side, former Bell Park big man Zane Vail signed before Christmas, with Nigro revealing the addition of Joel Donaldson from Northcote Park and Tom Steven from Lorne.

“Joel’s a midfielder/forward, while I think Tom will come into our back half … maybe a wing as well,” Nigro said.

“He has great running power and is a good user of the ball.

“Joel’s also a great user and a great mover.”

BFL: PRACTICE MATCHES

Anglesea has also added talented youngster Kyle Hay, who won the 2017 AFL Barwon Colts Division 4 best-and-fairest, from Belmont Lions.

Nigro says the arrival of Vail, who was called time on his GFL career at the end of 2017, will help free up best-and-fairest Ash Caldwell and Ash medallist Jed Bews, with the pair sharing the ruck duties for much of last year.

“Zane coming into the fray certainly changes our midfield structure and how that’s going to look,” he said.

The Roos will play practice matches at Alcoa Oval against GFL club St Albans, Werribee Districts and Rupertswood ahead of a Round 1 meeting at the same venue with Portarlington.

Meanwhile, the Demons have suffered a blow, with 2017 best-and-fairest Nick O’Neill leaving Ron Evans Oval.

He has joined Woorinen in the Central Murray league.

Twitter: @tom_king79