K rock Football

Roos retain star, add recruits

Anakie have re-signed Bailey Ettridge (left) and added Ryan Robertson and Todd Smith.

ANAKIE’S hopes of breaking a finals drought stretching back more than two decades have received a massive boost with the re-signing of star youngster Bailey Ettridge and the addition of Todd Smith and Ryan Robertson.

The Roos had expected to only have Ettridge for the second half of the 2019 season after joining his former junior club following a drawn-out battle to be cleared from North Shore to GFL rival Lara failed to come to fruition.

Anakie coach Chris Moore admits he was surprised when the former Geelong Falcon, who kicked 28 goals from just nine matches to win the Roos’ goal kicking, committed his short-term future to the GDFL club.

“When we acquired him, we thought that he was on loan to use for nine games,” Moore said of the 21-year-old.

“We never put any pressure on him; we just hoped that he enjoyed the environment. Winning games in the back end of the season helped that situation.

“We gave him a couple of weeks at the back end of the season to think about it and he signed-on, so we were ecstatic.”

Moore is confident Ettridge will be better for spending the second half of the season with Anakie.

“He probably took a couple of games to find his feet, especially being out for as long as he was,” Moore said.

“The second half of his nine-game stint was a lot better.

“He’s got plenty of improvement in him; he’s only a kid, so he’s only going to get better.”

Smith spent last year with Wimmera league club Ararat and before that was with Corio, playing 50 games and kicking 46 goals in three seasons.

Robertson, who has also played with the Devils, was at North Shore in 2019, featuring in 17 games.

“We definitely thought we needed another on-baller,” Moore said. “Ryan should be in the elite midfielders of the competition.

“So, he was a huge tick.

“Todd’s an Anakie junior, so he’ll be a one-pointer. He’ll play across half-forward and have a stint in the midfield.

“He’s a big body, which is what we needed.”

Anakie has lost Luke Wilson to North Geelong, but Moore is confident youngster Kad McEwan-Walsh can fill the hole left by the start ruckman’s departure.

“Kad’s 6’5″ (196cms) and very mobile,” Moore said. “His fitness wasn’t where he wanted it to be come Round 1 this year.

“But, he’s really hit the ground running, and he’s really showing us something on the track.

“Come Round 1 he’ll be cherry ripe to go and will fill the void for us.”

Twitter: @tom_king79