K rock Football

Lara lands former Cat Black

Aaron Black in action at Geelong training. (krockfootball.com.au image/Al Packer)

LARA has made its second off-season signing of an ex-AFL player, with Aaron Black committing to the GFL club.

The former Geelong and North Melbourne utility was delisted by the Cats at the end of the 2018 season after suffering a serious knee injury mid-year.

The 28-year-old joins luckless former Sydney Swan Alex Johnson, who will play with VFL rival Northern Blues, in nominating Lara as his interchange club.

Black, who played 57 AFL games after being drafted from WAFL club Peel Thunder, will remain with Geelong as a playing assistant coach at VFL level and has also taken a coaching role with the Cats’ AFLW program.

He will be available to Lara when not required by Geelong.

“It’s very exciting for Lara to have someone of his experience, and he’s a ripping fella as well,” co-coach Shayne Stone said.

“For our young group I think it’s really important we get the right people around to teach them what it takes at the next level.

“And I think it’s really important we have that experience – the likes of ‘Stokesy’ (Mathew Stokes) and Alex – around them to feed off.”

Black told krockfootball.com.au last month he was confident of being right for Geelong’s VFL opener on April 5.

Lara has also confirmed the return of talented youngster Thewin Robertson from Newtown & Chilwell.

“He’s one of our young kids who went there for a couple of years and he’s coming back,” Stone said.

“He’ll be a really welcome addition for us.”

However, the Cats have lost Dan Weigl, Daniel Green and Mitch Gavin to Anakie.

“It’s very disappointing,” Stone said. “The third one (Gavin), I wasn’t aware of (until reading the krockfootball.com.au article).

“That was the first I’d heard about it. Mitch had been training with us before Christmas.

“We’re due to return next week. We gave them an extra week (off) with a running program to do so that one was a little bit out of left-field.

“We’ll have to make contact with Mitch and work out what happened there, and sit down and find out the reasons and what we can do better as a club to stop that stuff happening.”

Lara opens its campaign on April 6 with a clash against Bell Park at Hamlyn Park.

Twitter: @tom_king79