K rock Football

Bruiser returns home

Brad Gerrard has returned to North Shore. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

NORTH Shore’s quest to get as many of its talented juniors back to Windsor Park continues to pay off with Brad Gerrard returning to the club.

A highly decorated underage player, Gerrard made the last of his senior appearances with the Seagulls in 2017.

The 22-year-old spent 2018-19 with GDFL club Anakie, winning the Roos’ best-and-fairest in his first season and finishing runner-up the following year.

He also finished fifth in the Whitley Medal both years.

Gerrard was among several Anakie players to join North Geelong for the 2021 season, where he finished runner-up in the Magpies’ best-and-fairest to Tom Schwennesen, who signed with the Seagulls last month.

“I certainly think he’s coming back a better player than when he went and played GDFL,” Seagulls co-coach Nick Dixon said.

“And I think his maturity levels have certainly improved from when he left.

“He’s really ready to have a good crack at GFL level, and not just be a good depth player but come in and play at a high level straight away.”

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Gerrard joins Herschelle Carr and Josh Widdison among those returning to the club after playing elsewhere, while Tom Schwennesen.

And Dixon says Gerrard is unlikely to be the only recruit North Shore unveils this week.

“We’re pretty hopeful that we’ll be able to sign up a handful of new players that are pretty elite juniors and are going to be pretty good players at GFL level for a long time,” he said.

“We’re really excited about the position the club’s in and our ability to push the club forward and compete with the top boys next year.”

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Outside of former Richmond and Hawthorn big man Ty Vickery, who only played three games for the club, Dixon expects most of the 2021 list to return next year.

He says Tasmania-based Phil Bellchambers is the only question mark at this stage.

“Phil’s just seeing what the border stuff is, and whether he wants to make that commitment again,” Dixon said.

“But, he’s really keen to come back; he loved his time here.”

Pre-season training will officially start in mid-November for North Shore. Still, Dixon says the Seagulls are making the most of twice-weekly sessions run by local fitness identity Steve ‘Stoofa’ Lewry.

“Last Wednesday, we had 40 boys there, so everyone’s keen to get back around each other,” Dixon said.

“They really enjoy each other’s company, which is a really good sign.

“It’s pretty much the most social thing you can do at the moment, so I think they’re enjoying that aspect of it.”

Meanwhile, Dixon has confirmed best-and-fairest Noah Lever has signed with VFL club Williamstown for the 2022 season.

Twitter: @tom_king79