K rock Football

Ettridge returns to Hill

Jayden Ettridge celebrates one of his six goals in Bell Post Hill’s grand final win over Inverleigh in 2017. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Marcel Berens)

TO paraphrase a line from the iconic 1980 film The Blues Brothers, Bell Post Hill is continuing to “put the band back together” with dual-premiership forward Jayden Ettridge returning to Myers Reserve for the 2021 season.

Ettirdge, who kicked 180 goals in 59 games across three seasons at the Panthers, and was named best-on-ground in the 2017 grand final win over Inverleigh, left the club at the end of 2018.

He linked up with Colac and District club Apollo Bay but managed just five matches before rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament.

Coach Justin Tarr said Ettridge, who played at Anakie before arriving at Bell Post Hill, would be ready to go when pre-season starts.

“We do need him for his goal kicking ability; it’s worked out well he’s only gone for a year,” Tarr said.

“He will be all good to go on day one of pre-season.”

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Ettridge joins the likes of Dylan Witney, Nick Costello and Tim Barton returning to the club after time away at other clubs.

“I think it speaks volumes about our culture at the club that guys are continually coming back when they leave to go somewhere else,” Tarr said.

“It’s very rare that someone does leave, but if they do, they always seem to come back because they miss the culture of the club.”

Tarr is confident the Panthers, who won seven premierships between 2010-17, can contend for their eighth flag next year.

“I think we’ve got a good list, and like I say every year, our aim is to finish top three,” he said.

“If you do that, it gives you the best opportunity of having a crack at it.

“There’s no reason that if the boys put in the work that they can’t be right up there.”

Tarr is planning to start pre-season the week starting November 9, dependent on COVID-19 restrictions.

Twitter: @tom_king79