By Nick Creely
Officer is busy preparing its list ahead of the inaugural AFL Outer East season in 2019, with a new Under 19s coach and a bounty of new recruits arriving at Starling Road.
The 2018 SEFNL finalists – under re-signed senior coach Doug Koop – have added highly rated key-position player James Cairns from Beaconsfield, where he won the under 19s premiership in 2018, and is expected to slot straight into the senior side with immediate impact.
Officer president Nick McLennan said the club is delighted to welcome in Cairns, who he believes has a bright future ahead of him.
“Our main focus when recruiting has been to secure players that are not only good footballers but good people and James fits both of these criteria’s,” he said.
“He gets along with the lads exceptionally well and we see him as a player with a long term future at our club.”
Other new recruits to join the Kangaroos include George McAdam from UHS-VU and Zach Rolph from St Johns Old Collegians in the VAFA, Belgrave pair Billy Carlyle and Chris Powers, as well as a host of players from Cora Lynn such as Daniel Rabl, Zac Peazold, Ben Draper and Kane Martin.
Adding to the new additions, the Kangaroos have also retained the majority of its playing list for 2019, with McLennan saying that the key to bringing in new players to the club was by first rewarding those who performed well in 2018.
“As a club our first priority was securing our current playing list for the season, having done this we then turned our attention to trying to improve out list in a number of key areas,” he said.
“So far we’ve managed to secure the signatures of nine players and we’re still in discussions with another six to eight players about coming on board.
“There is an expectation that these players will add a bit of extra quality to the list as well as much needed depth.”
The Kangaroos have also brought back past player Glenn Robinson to the club as the Under 19’s coach, in a move the club believes will only help develop their young talent.
“The club is also extremely excited about securing the services of Glenn Robinson as our Under 19’s coach,” he explained.
“Glenn and his father are past players at the club and have been involved in a number of premierships at the club.
“Glenn will be joined by his son Trent, continuing the tradition of Robinsons playing at Officer/ROC.”
With his club in the midst of pre-season, McLennan said that the vibe around Starling Road is exciting, and that training standards have been extremely high.
“To date we’ve had 60-plus players to each of our pre-season sessions which is a vast improvement on previous years,” he said.
“We believe our list is looking strong and we’re happy with where we sit going into the 2019 season.”