K rock Football

Weigl returns to Snakepit

Dan Weigl in action for Lara in 2018. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

DAN Weigl has become the latest former Lara star to return to the Snakepit.

The Cats confirmed on Friday night the key defender will cross back from Anakie, joining the likes of Mitch Day and Kane Smith in returning to where their football journey started in the last 12 months.

“It’s outstanding for the club, and it’s testament to the group and what we’re trying to create in getting the Lara identity back,” coach Shayne Stone said.

“In this climate, one-pointers you can’t go past, but I think a player the calibre of ‘Weigs’ coming back, he brings a lot of experience and a lot of leadership. But, above all, we know he can play GFL.

“It’s a hard comp to play, and the recruits that you know have played it previously, and that are going to come back and slot into our group, is just massive for the whole club.”

Stone said another key defender and a ruckman remain on Lara’s wishlist as it looks to climb out of the GFL’s bottom two for the first time since last reaching the finals in 2013.

“A key back that’s been in the VFL system would be handy,” he said.

“6’4″-6’5” (193-196cms) that can run like the wind, and set-up and defend really well, that would be ideal.

“The salary cap (reduction) changes things a little bit about the big fish.

“We don’t want to skimp on our blokes. We’ve got a pretty good group there now, so providing they want to come and help the club and get better, we’ll talk to anyone.

Stone also revealed the Cats were talking with Jordan Hopper about a possible return.

The former captain signed with GDFL club North Geelong for the cancelled 2020 season.

“Probably the difference with him is that he didn’t get to play for North Geelong,” Stone said.

“So, he might feel he owes them a little bit, or whether it’s the right time for him to come back.

“He’s weighing that up… we’d love to have him back as well.”

With COVID-19 restrictions limiting clubs to non-contact training in groups of 10, Stone said Lara would hold back on a formal start to the 2021 pre-season.

“We’ve got a couple of things we’re going to between now and Christmas that is more about enjoying what we do,” he said.

“You can’t plan too much, and mentally you’ve got to try and keep the boys fresh.

“We’ll do some things that will get us to Christmas as quick as we can, and then we’ll look at resetting in January and going back to a more structured pre-season.”

Twitter: @tom_king79