K rock Football

Centrals beef up defensive unit

Werribee Centrals recruit Marc Yates. (Werribee Centrals Image)

A FAMILY connection has helped Werribee Centrals strengthen its defensive unit with the signing of Marc Yates from Western Region club Glen Orden.

A cousin of star Centurion Nathan Johson, Yates was best-on-ground in Glen Orden’s 2019 Western Region Division 3 premiership win.

Co-coach Nick Smith said the addition of Yates will help offset the unavailability of Brayden Smith, who is now a career firefighter.

“Marc players a similar role, and he has a booming left foot, so he’ll give us a bit of drive off the half-back line,” Smith said.

“If Brayden Smith plays, we think that makes a pretty tough half-back line with Marc and Brayden playing alongside each other.”

GDFL: MAGPIES MOURN GREAT

Smith said a casual chat between Yates and co-coach Rhyce Prismall started the ball rolling.

“I think he was looking for a different challenge after having another premiership win with Glen Orden last season,” Smith said.

“And I think he’s always wanted to link back up with Nathan, and Nathan talking up where we think we are in the premiership window got him excited.”

MEANWHILE, Brad Gerrard has become the latest big-name departure from Anakie, joining former skipper Jamie Phillis at North Geelong.

Gerrard, who didn’t miss a match in two seasons after arriving from GFL club North Shore, won the Roos best-and-fairest in 2018 and was runner-up last year.

He also finished fifth in the Whitley Medal both years.

Anakie has also lost big man Kad McEwan-Walsh to Inverleigh and Bailey Ettridge to Lara.

Twitter: @tom_king79