K rock Football

Wade to follow in dad’s footsteps

Wade McSparron in action for Geelong Amateur in 2019. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

BELL Park has turned to the son of a former gun to fill a hole in its backline with the signing of BFL Interleague key defender Wade McSparron.

The former Dragons junior, whose dad, and current Colac coach, Rowan was a member of the club’s 2011 premiership between premiership stints at Geelong Amateur, has himself impressed at Ammos in 49 senior games since debuting as a 16-year-old in 2015.

“We’ve spoken to Wade the last couple of years since I’ve been there, and he’s wanted to stay at Ammos,” Bell Park coach Shane Jack said.

“This year, we caught up and had another chat. He was looking at taking his footy interstate, but in the end, he decided he wanted to stay here.

“There have been some raps on him down at BFL level, making the Interleague side and Team of the Year, so we’re looking for him to come in and play a role for us down back.”

McSparon will return Hamyln Park as a one-pointer after playing more than 80 junior games for the Dragons.

Jack said landing a key defender was an area he and his coaching staff had identified as Bell Park looks to improve on its sixth-place finish in 2019.

“We’ve had Steve Bensted doing a bit of that work over the last three or four years at Bell Park,” Jack said.

“He’s been tremendous for us, but he’s not an out-and-out centre half-back or full-back, so that’s what we thought we needed.

“Jack Purcell came over from Joeys a couple of years ago; we think he can also fill a void there.”

Bell Park will also welcome back 100-gamer Matt Ianelli to the club.

The 30-year-old had planned to play at Barwon Heads in 2020 before the season was cancelled.

“He had a couple of troublesome years with injuries at Bell Park, and I just think he wanted a fresh start, as you can understand with a few injuries,” Jack said.

“But he’s still got a lot of ties at Bell Park.

“I reached out to him to see how he was going, and he mentioned he might be looking to come back.

“We’re happy to get him back. He’s a quality person and a good footballer.”

However, Bell Park won’t get to see former Frankston VFL player Justin Bennett in action after he lodged a clearance to return to the Mornington Peninsula after being recruited from Colac league club Birregurra.

The Dragons have also lost youngsters Boe Collins and Charlie Farrell.

Collins has linked up with uncle Joel Page at Bell Post Hill, while Farrell has returned home to North Geelong.

Twitter: @tom_king79