K rock Football

Hutchy a Hawk again

Blake Hutchinson in action for Inverleigh in 2018. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Marcel Berens)

INVERLEIGH coach Adam Donohue believes the Hawks are building a list to challenge for its first premiership since coming out recess nearly 20 years following more key signings.

Two-time best-and-fairest Blake Hutchinson will return to the club to add to his 85 games in brown and gold, while Ryan Robertson has become the latest player to depart Anakie.

The Hawks have also added former Corio and Geelong West (GFL) player Michael Cadman.

With the return of Michael Best and addition of Kad McEwan-Walsh from Anakie, Inverleigh is well placed for a seventh consecutive finals appearance.

“We think we’ve got a squad that’s going to contend,” Donohue said.

“It’s now about making sure we play as a unit, and guys are willing to work for each other.”

Hutchinson is back at Inverleigh, where he was a three-time GDFL Team of the Year member in five seasons, after 10 games with Corio in 2019.

“He wasn’t someone that was originally on our (recruiting) list,” Donohue said.

“We got Besty and Kad, and I think through the Muirs, there was talk he wanted to finish out at Inverleigh, and he was liking where we were going since he left.

“He will probably play more of a forward role – potentially permanent forward with the way our midfield’s looking.

“And with his body, he said the last few years it hasn’t held up as well as it should have.

“We’ll manage him pretty well, but I’m sure when the whips are cracking if we’re lucky enough to make finals come September, he’ll be in the midfield.

“He’s very highly rated by his teammates. You speak to anyone; he’s one of the better players they’ve played with.”

Robertson joined Anakie ahead of the 2020 season from GFL club North Shore where he played 31 games in two stints.

He also spent three seasons at GDFL rival Corio.

“I don’t know a whole heap about Robbo, but I remember reading the stats when he was at North Shore, and he was constantly in the top disposal-getters,” Donohue said.

“I know that doesn’t mean a great deal, but he’s clearly a ball-magnet and clearly going to be one of the better midfielders in the competition.

“The advice we’ve got is that he works both ways, he’s ferocious, and he just racks up the footy.

“He’ll fit in really nicely, but as with Hutchy, he’s probably going to have to play a forward role as well.

“With our rotations and our midfield depth, he’s going to have to be willing to spend some time forward as well.”

Twitter: @tom_king79