K rock Football

Leopold lands Smedts

Billie Smedts signed with GFL club Leopold. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

LEOPOLD has landed arguably the biggest name of the GFL off-season with the signing of recently delisted Carlton utility Billie Smedts on a two-year deal.

Smedts, whose sister Maddison is a former coach of the club’s A grade netball team, was unveiled by the Lions earlier tonight

“We’re obviously excited about it,” incoming Leopold coach Guy Morphet said.

“Excitement is the word that I’m using. It’s really great for Leopold and it’s probably exciting Geelong community.”

Drafted with pick No.15 in the 2010 National Draft by Geelong from North Warrnambool, the 25-year-old played 38 games for the Cats before being traded to the Blues, where he managed a further nine matches.

Smedts has the ability to play in a number of positions, which Morphet plans to use to full advantage.

“We’ve identified him as playing off half back and through the midfield,” he said.

“But the thing with Billie is that he’s very adaptable to all parts of the ground.

“He’ll slot in nicely and be good for younger guys coming through as well.”

Smedts continues a solid off-season of recruiting for the Lions, who have already added Tom Gordon from Port Melbourne and Jack Beaton from Stawell as they start a new era under Morphet following the departure of 2016 premiership coach Steve Clark.

“I wasn’t going to come in and reinvent the wheel, but I certainly do have my own style of coaching,” Morphet said.

“I knew straight away that when we lost ‘Closey’ (Simon Close) and ‘Boof’ (Alex Moloney) and a couple of those boys, we really wanted to replace them pretty quickly, and we’ve actively gone out and looked for a couple to do that, without being silly about it.”

“We think we’re getting a really good mix at the moment.”

The Lions are still “actively looking” to add to their list, however Tom Ruggles isn’t one they are chasing.

The delisted Geelong defender spent 2014 at Memorial Park, helping Leopold to that year’s grand final, before a standout 2015 season with the Cats’ VFL earned him a rookie spot.

“At the moment, I think Tom should be pursuing his AFL career,” Morphet said.

“If that doesn’t come, then we would be the first to put our hand up and speak to him.

“But, at this stage, we haven’t made contact.”

Twitter: @tom_king79

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