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Pitman returns to Roos

Jamie Pitman is set to return to Anakie. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

ANAKIE’S quest to snap a 20-year finals drought has received a massive shot-in-the-arm with star forward Jamie Pitman returning to the club.

Pitman, who played 87 games and kicked 159 goals with the Roos between 2009-2013, is back after three seasons with GDFL rival North Geelong.

During that time Pitman kicked 126 goals and won the Whitley Medal in 2015. He also played eight games with GFL club St Albans.

“We were looking for experience and someone who could straighten us up a bit,” Anakie coach Chris Moore said.

“We always had his name highlighted as someone we wanted to contact at the end of the season.

“Obviously with North Geelong playing finals we had to play with a bit of patience, and after that we made contact.”

Moore, who will go it alone as senior coach after Jamie Grace’s decision to step down, hopes Pitman’s decision to re-join Anakie acts as a carrot for other considering making the Roos their home in 2017.

“We’ve still got a couple in the pipeline who are currently 50-50,” Moore said.

“If ‘Pitty’ gets them over the line, then so be it.

“That’s probably a thing we wanted to get out there nice and early.”

However, Moore isn’t getting caught up in discussions about Anakie make a return to the top five for the first time since 1998.

“You don’t know who else picks up who,” he said. “You can only control what you can.

“We just want to be relevant again. For a few years we dropped off the radar and we just want to be relevant and play the best footy we can.

“If finals come along then that would be a massive bonus.”

Aside from Grace, who will miss 2018 after undergoing a knee reconstruction, Moore has retained the majority of the list that finished with an 8-10 win-loss record.

“We haven’t lost a player that played senior football last year (2017),” he said.

“‘Gracey’ will be out for 12 months, but speaking with Jamie he’ll be around the footy club watching and we’ll get him back on the park in 2019.”

MEANWHILE, Bannockburn coach Peter Riccardi has confirmed the return of Jake Peters to Wimmera league club Warrack Eagles.

Peters played 55 games in three seasons with the Tigers, including the 2016 grand final loss to Bell Post Hill.

He was named in the GDFL Team of the Year in 2015.

Twitter: @tom_king79