K rock Football

Grace goes home

Aiden Grace celebrates a goal for Geelong VFL during the 2018 season. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Marcel Berens)

GFL leading goalkicker Aiden Grace is unlikely to play with St Mary’s this year in a further blow to the Saints’ forward stocks.

Co-coach Travis Robertson confirmed Grace, who kicked 59 goals in 17 games for last year’s grand finalists and made three appearances for the Cats, has returned to Tasmania.

“Indefinitely at this stage. He hasn’t signed with anyone down there as yet,” Robertson said.

“We’re in constant contact with him, but we’re allowing him some time to sort a few things out.

“We hope to have him back in the green and blue at some point.

“Whether that’s in 2019, I’m not sure yet.”

GFL: INS & OUTS

St Mary’s has now lost three of its top four goal kickers from last year, with Tom Gillies (52 goals) and Sam Dobson (36 goals from eight games) also departing Anthony Costa Oval.

Add to that big man Trent McMullan (18 goals) missing the first half of the season after receiving a scholarship to study in the United States and Robertson says the Saints will be trying things differently up forward.

“There are a few blokes we’ve got who have spent some as key backs that I think can transition forward,” he said.

“We’ll train for a bit of that during the pre-season because we have got a few blokes that can replace key posts down back.

“Then you look at midfield rotations and blokes like (Jarryd) Garner, (Zak) Sherman – how do you utilise their scoring capacity and capabilities as well?”

GFL: SUTTERBY STEPS UP

In better news for St Mary’s, highly-rated Gippsland Power product Kyle Reid has signed with the club.

Reid who some experts believe was unlucky not to be drafted by an AFL club, is training with Geelong’s VFL squad.

“We weren’t really talking to Kyle before Christmas but then he hopped on the radar and he looks like a good asset,” Robertson said.

“He’s a good size. He won’t have any issues transitioning to senior footy.

“The Cats have recruited him as a defender, but it wasn’t until he came out of the under-16s he became that.

“He does have a bit of a junior career as a forward, but at this stage, we will certainly play him as a defender so it helps him with his development at the Cats.”

St Mary’s will play practice matches against Aberfeldie, Myrtleford and Sandhurst ahead of a blockbuster Round 1 meeting with grand final conqueror St Joseph’s on April 6.

Twitter: @tom_king79