K rock Football

Charlie comes home to North

Charlie Farrell has returned to North Geelong. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

NORTH Geelong has landed another handy acquisition as its recruiting for 2021 winds down with Charlie Farrell returning to the club.

The former Geelong Falcons, who was part of the Magpies’ most recent grand final appearance in 2015, has spent the last five seasons with GFL club Bell Park.

Farrell, whose father Craig is a club great, said he always planned to come home and is looking forward to helping take North Geelong back to the finals after a two-year absence.

“Playing with some of my closest mates, I’ve always looked forward to doing that,” he said.

“It’s always exciting seeing recruits, but North’s core group is pretty rock solid.”

Farrell didn’t have a clear run during his time with the Dragons.

After playing 17 senior games in 2016, the 23-year-old suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament ahead of the 2017 season.

He managed just 11 more games across 2018-19 as he battled soft-tissue injuries.

“I loved my time at Bell Park, and I’m a better footballer having played there,” he said.

“This pre-season, I’ve really to try and put a bit of work into my body and get it right because I haven’t played too much footy in the last few years.

“I had a couple of hamstrings that were knee-related, and then a shoulder last year kept me out for a little bit.”

The return of Farrell comes on the back of the arrival of Anakie duo Jamie Phillis and Brad Gerrard last month.

“I think we’ve added some quality, some experience and some really good youth,” coach Ayden George said.

“I’m excited to see where Charlie fits best in our group.

“With his injury history, we need to get him confident in his body. So, getting him confident in his body and getting him through games of footy is going to be key to start with.

“Maybe he’ll spend a bit of time down back. At this level, I think his best football is going to be in the midfield.

“But, I think it’s about him getting some durability and consistency in his body to allow him to do that.”

George said the Magpies were “very optimistic” former captain and 2013 premiership player Lachie Wright will play in 2021.

Wright missed the 2019 season with a knee suffered playing social basketball following his return from GFL club Grovedale.

He has been competing in triathlons as part of his recovery.

“We’re having ongoing discussions with him, and there’s nothing that says he won’t (play), George said.

“To be doing what his doing now on the bike and running is pretty incredible.

“He’s going to come back a pretty fit footballer, that’s for sure.”

MEANWHILE, Belmont Lions impressive off-season recruiting campaign has continued with the addition of Dave Smith.

Smith, who was listed with the GWS Giants NEAFL team in 2018, where he played one game against Sydney.

Originally from Deniliquin, Smith was most recently with Ardmona in the Goulburn Valley.

Twitter: @tom_king79