K rock Football

Brent returns to Tigers

Brent Macleod will pull on the purple and gold of Thomson in 2021 (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

THOMSON has landed a recruiting coup with Brent Macleod returning to the club.

Co-coach Sam Jacka confirmed to krockfootball.com.au, the 2016 Whitley medallist and GDFL leading goalkicker, will pull on the purple and gold next year.

“We’ve started discussions with Brent, and we’d love to have Brent come in and play,” Jacka, who was re-appointed co-coach with Jarrod Westwood on Wednesday, said.

“He’s highlighted his desire to come back, and he’s stuck to that.

“To get him back to enjoying his footy and just being a footballer again, and hopefully putting some of this discussion with his (off-field) situation in the background and just let him play footy.”

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A talented junior who featured at TAC Cup level with Geelong Falcons, Macleod played in the SANFL with South Adelaide and the NEAFL with Tuggeranong between separate stints at Godfrey Street in 2012 and 2016.

He joined Ocean Grove as an assistant coach in 2017 before a two-year tenure as coach of Colac and District club Apollo Bay, where won the Mahoney Medal as league best-and-fairest in 2019.

Macleod was due to play with Central Highlands club Ballan in 2020 before the season was scrapped as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Macleod name is one of the most famous at the club, with brother Jackson a Tiger great, while dad Greg is a key figure at Godfrey Street.

Jacka is looking forward to what the 28-year-old can bring to the table for the Tigers.

“Looking back at what he did in 2016 was pretty special,” Jacka said.

“He comes back a little bit more mature and brings that leadership, which is what we need.

“He isn’t our sole focus like he might have been back then, but he definitely adds another layer to our forward line and our midfield.”

Jacka expects the majority of the players who had committed to Thomson for 2020 to be with the club next year, with only St Joseph’s recruits Josh Hill and Jack Hodgson undecided.

“Hilly’s a bit 50-50 at the moment – and so is Jack with it being so early,” Jacka said.

“But all things are probably pointing towards them returning; I couldn’t see both them signing on for a year and then walking away without having a crack at it.

“Especially with their connections to the guys we have on the list that have already confirmed themselves to be full steam ahead for next year.”

“Everyone else is chomping at the bit to get back into it.”

Jacka said Westwood had been in contact with veteran defender Adam Wiseman about his plans for next year.

“One of the guys that we’re trying to recruit at the moment has a connection to ‘Wiz’, so we spoke to him about that,” Jacka said.

“And he said to us that he thought he would be done. But he’s had his year (off) now, and he can see himself running around and playing footy again.

“He’ll be in a different role; he’ll be 41 by the time we get into it.

Hopefully, we can give him more of a lesser role where he plays free and goes back to his days at South Barwon where he’s not a key defender, and he can run off his player and use the footy because that’s what he’s good at.”

Jacka has also left the door open for reigning Whitley medallist Reece Holwell to play in 2021 after stepping down as coach following last year’s shock grand final loss to Bannockburn.

“He’s always going to be that one that lingers in the conversation, isn’t he?” Jacka mused.

“He hasn’t said yes, (and) he hasn’t said no. We haven’t gone down that path yet.

“But the phone’s always on, and I’m happy to have a chat with him, and so is ‘Westy’.

“You know he’s always going to bring that effort, so we’d never say ‘no’ to him.

“But, we’re still a little bit unsure on that one.”

Twitter: @tom_king79