K rock Football

Ford finds new home on the Hill

Will Ford in action for Winchelsea in 2021. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

BELL Post Hill coach Justin Tarr says he would be content with the Panthers’ recruiting even if they made no further additions to their list ahead of the 2022 season.

It follows the surprise signing of Winchelsea captain Will Ford on Tuesday night.

Tarr said Ford, whose grandfather was a club founder in the mid-1970s and whose dad pulled on the red and blue, had been exploring his options.

“His dad is mates with someone on our committee, and he let us know Will was thinking about a change of scenery,” Tarr said.

“I got in contact with him and said if that were the case, we’d like to have a chat with him, and it snowballed from there.”

Ford was a standout for Winchelsea in 2019, which helped earn him the captaincy this year.

He kicked 46 goals to earn GDFL Team of the Year honours and represented the GDFL in its interleague loss to the Bellarine.

In all, he kicked 99 goals from 40 games with the Blues.

“He’s a very good player; he’ll fit in really well with us,” Tarr said. “He’s a really hardworking player.

“He’s a good age, too – he’s only 23. He’s a great bloke, a good leader.

“It was a hard decision for him to leave Winch. He had nothing but good things to say about Winch, and there are some people at that club as well.

“It was a hard decision for him. But when he decided to leave, we jumped at the opportunity.”

GDFL: ROOS TO BOUND INTO PRE-SEASON

Tarr is also excited by the addition of Josh Andrews from GFL club St Mary’s.

Andrews, who played nine games in the Saints undefeated reserve grade team in 2021, will link up with fellow Portland products Brock Carter and Will Kerrins at Bell Post Hill.

He also works with Panthers great David Holzfeind.

“We had a chat with him, and he said he would be interested in coming across,” Tarr said.

“He’s been part of a great system at St Mary’s and played some good footy in the twos there.

“He’s a very athletic, intercept-type player. He’s played a few different positions, but I think his best position is on a half-back flank.

“He’s super fit and can be a playmaker for us.”

Tarr also confirmed Daniel Walve would return after a year off. At the same time, fellow premiership player Matt Lentini has returned to full fitness after a back issue limited him to just two reserves appearances this year.

Add that to the return of 2018 Whitley medalist Matt James from Bannockburn, it’s no surprise Tarr is happy with how the Panthers are positioned.

Danny Gray, who will return to professional running, is the only confirmed departure.

The Panthers will commence pre-season training on Monday, November 15.

Twitter: @tom_king79