K rock Football

Keras commits to Joeys

Jordan Keras in action for St Joseph’s in 2019. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

STAR St Joseph’s midfielder Jordan Keras has decided against restarting his VFL career and will take on a playing assistant coaches role with the GFL powerhouse in 2020.

Keras, who turns 26 next month, was most recently at Geelong, but parted company with the Cats early in the 2019 season and went on to play 15 matches with Joeys.

“It’s exciting news for our footy club,” coach Paul Carson said of the 2017 NEAFL MVP’s commitment to St Joseph’s.

“We thought he would be heading up the highway to Williamstown or Port Melbourne, but a couple of weeks ago he rang me out of the blue and said, “I’m seriously contemplating making Joeys my home club full-time and giving VFL the flick”.

“He said, “can the footy club put something together if I’m a full-time Joeys player”, and he also asked me about any opportunities to be a playing assistant coach.

“So all those options over the last two or three weeks have been explored, and we’re happy to say we’ve come to a mutual agreement.”

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Carson says Keras’ experience will be invaluable for St Joseph’s as it chases its fourth flag in six seasons.

“He’s got real knowledge around that midfield area, and we’re really keen to tap into that,” Carson said.

“And knowing Jordy and his commitment levels to everything he does, we’re excited to have that whole focus now on our group and as part of the coaching staff.”

The beaten preliminary finalist starts its pre-season campaign next Monday night, with a focus on re-tooling its forward line following the departures of Lucas Anderson (Torquay) and Curtis McCarthy (Glenelg) and retirement of Jackson Davis.

Between them, the trio kicked 92 goals to fill three of top four places in Joeys’ goal kicking.

“We’re really excited by a couple of the young boys coming through the under-19s who will now become senior players, so they will get opportunities,” Carson said.

“Max Hungerford has been kicking around at 12 o’clock for a couple of years, and he’s a guy who probably deserves a chance.

“Rhys Hultgren, Cam Tudor, Josh Hovey, we still think we’ve got guys within our group who can fill the void.”

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Riley Ferguson will make a delayed start to pre-season with the three-time premiership star due to undergo minor knee surgery next week.

“He’s having a cleanout on a meniscus tear which hindered his last eight weeks,” Carson said.

“He’ll be right to go after Christmas.”

Meanwhile, Carson has confirmed Dylan Pettingill will leave Drew Oval after signing with GFL rival St Albans.

Pettingill, who finished as one of three runners-up in the GFL reserve grade best-and-fairest, managed eight senior games at Joeys, including two finals.

Twitter: @tom_king79