K rock Football

Star Dragon gets VFL chance

Ben Lloyd in action for Bell Park in 2021. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

A BREAKOUT season across half-back has earned Bell Park gun Ben Lloyd an invite to Geelong VFL pre-season training.

Lloyd was a standout for the Dragons as they posted a 7-4 win-loss record.

Recruited from Ovens and Murray club North Albury ahead of the 2018 season, Lloyd claimed Bell Park’s best-and-fairest and was named in the GFL Coaches’ Team of the Year for the first time.

Surprisingly, he failed to poll a Mathieson Medal vote despite a slew of high-possession matches, including a season-high 41 disposals in the Round 3 win over Geelong West.

“After the year he’s had, he deserves the opportunity,” Dragons coach Shane Jack said.

“Benny’s a really good influence down back for someone who is only 22; he shows some real poise with the footy.

“I had a chat to (Geelong VFL boss) Nathan Tweddle earlier in the year about Ben, and they kept a bit of an eye on him, and they were keen to get him down.”

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Lloyd will join fellow Dragons Ben Worme, Will Christie and Isaac Wareham at GMHBA Stadium, while Keegan Gray will continue at Werribee.

However, fellow Tiger Aiden Domic will join Charlie Wilson and Luke Smith as departures from Hi Sushi Oval.

“He’s just opened up his gym in Ballarat, and he’s living in Ballarat as well,” Jack said.

“He’s acquitted himself really well at Bell Park, but with opening up his own business, he’ll align himself with a Ballarat club.”

Bell Park commences pre-season training next Monday with a five-week block in the lead-up to Christmas.

“We’ve got a lot of eager kids with the under-19s going back to under-18s,” Jack said.

“We’ve got 20-25 of those boys wanting to jump straight back into it.

“We’ll get them back nice and early and get them back involved at the footy club.”

Meanwhile, Colac’s Liam McCarthy has also earned an invite to train with the Cats after earning Team of the Year honours.

However, Mathieson medalist Harry Benson has knocked back an offer to join Geelong and looks set to remain as a full-time player with St Mary’s.

Twitter: @tom_king79