K rock Football

Page the latest Panther to return

Joel Page celebrates a goal for Bell Post Hill in 2018. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

FORMER Bell Post Hill captain Joel Page says the chance to play with good friends and premiership teammates again was behind his decision to come out of retirement.

Save for one reserve grade match as the Panthers battled an injury crisis last year, the 33-year-old hasn’t played since the 2018 preliminary final.

“My best mate – and he was Best Man at my wedding – is Dyl Witney, and the chance to play with him and a few of the other boys that have comeback has me excited to play again,” Page told krockfootball.com.au.

“I probably owe ‘Tarry’ (coach Justin Tarr) a little bit; he’s helped me a lot with my footy over the years.

“And your love of football never dies.”

The return of Page is a further coup for Bell Post Hill, which missed the finals for the first time in 15 years in 2019.

Tarr has already welcomed back Witney (Belmont Lions), Tim Barton (Penshurst), Will Kelly (Dingley) and Dany Gray, as well as adding Sam Harmer from North Shore and former Portarlington duo Nick and Chris Daniele.

“I’m pretty confident that Tarry’s built a pretty good list to be a contender,” Page said.

“Obviously a lot of things have to go our way to win a premiership, but he’s built a very good list.”

A four-time premiership player, Page only rejoined the playing group last week but said he would be right for the Panthers’ Round 1 clash with Inverleigh.

“I do a lot of training externally, and do a lot of CrossFit training and stuff like that,” he said.

“I’m in pretty good nick for someone who hasn’t touched a ball in a while.”

The news isn’t all good for the Panthers, with Luke Mann to miss the majority of the season with a serious finger injury.

Veteran Attila Sulics is also believed to be weighing up his future.

Twitter: @tom_king79