K rock Football

South adds quality in Simpson

South Barwon has signed former North Ballarat City player Ben Simpson. (Ballarat Courier Image/Lachlan Bence)

SOUTH Barwon has put the final piece of its recruiting puzzle in place with the arrival of Ballarat league representative Ben Simpson.

Simpson, who also played two TAC Cup seasons with North Ballarat Rebels and eight games with North Ballarat at VFL level, has most recently played with North Ballarat City.

Swans coach Dave Farrell says a link with fellow former Rebels Ben Lusby and Jackson Carrick helped lure Simpson, who turns 23 on Saturday, to McDonald Reserve.

“He went to St Pat’s (St Patrick’s College, Ballarat) with a couple of our players, and had some pretty good ties with the Ballarat connection we’ve established,” Farrell said.

“We certainly had a target in pre-season to add some experience, and a quality person like Ben is the perfect fit.”

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Simpson who won the 2014 TAC Cup Goal of the Year award is likely to fill a role in defence for South Barwon.

“He’s a really strong ball user off half-back,” Farrell said. “But he can spend some time in the midfield, and, as all backs like to, he can sneak forward.

“We’ll see how he settles in with what we’ve got and how we can use him.

“Ball use is something we’ve been focussed on for a while now, but adding that experience is important for us.”

Simpson becomes the sixth new arrival at the Swans joining Carrick (Darley), Jarrod Duncan (Lavington/Xavier College/Murray Bushrangers), Noah Kol (South Warrnambool), Josh O’Dwyer (Numurkah) and Austin Shepherd (Albury).

Duncan and O’Dwyer’s fathers are both former South Barwon players.

O’Dwyer’s dad Chris won the Swans best-and-fairest in his lone season in 1995, as well as topping the Mathieson Medal leaderboard.

However, he was ruled ineligible due to suspension, leading to the only four-way tie in the medal’s history.

Kol is the son of Nigel, who played two games for Geelong and 28 for Melbourne.

South Barwon will be among several local clubs to commence training in groups of 10 next Monday.

However, the Swans will be without Louis Herbert, who has returned home to South Warrnambool.

Twitter: @tom_king79