NORTH Ballarat Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald says he is open to finding an experienced marquee recruit.
The Selkirk Roosters finished ninth this season on percentage, missing their first Victorian Football League finals series since 2003.
Player reviews at Eureka Stadium start next week when the Roosters can begin to sort out the shape of their roster.
FitzGerald said finding the right kind of experienced player to help development was always a consideration.
In past seasons, former AFL players have complemented the Roosters – including Essendon’s Peter Somerville, Geelong’s Garry Hocking and Richmond’s Tom Roach, who each arrived with valuable experience.
“It’s something we’ll look at. I don’t want to close off any options but I’m still keen to stay true to our method of promoting within the club, given we’re developing again,” FitzGerald said.
“All my colleagues in Ballarat state level sports will agree its much harder to attract ex-AFL or high quality players to Ballarat when so many are based in Melbourne.
“…You could probably could find some examples of those who certainly did not work but because it has in the past, I remain open to the possibility.”
What could work in the Roosters’ favour is a Melbourne training base at Arden Street, home of their aligned AFL club North Melbourne.
Melbourne-based Roosters Myles Sewell and Oliver Tate are among those who train with the Kangaroos’ Roosters-listed players.
FitzGerald said there were a lot of positives for the playing list closer to home.
Defender Oliver Tate (hips) and premiership midfielder Nick Peters (quadriceps) were on the long-term injury list this season.
Peters played in the Roosters’ season opener against Werribee in March and struggled to return on field while Tate played five games late in the season with the Roosters’ development team.
FitzGerald said if the club worked carefully to get both fully fit for next season, it would be like adding two quality recruits.
A close partnership to help develop North Melbourne’s youngsters should also start to show.
Defender Brad McKenzie and ruckman Ben Mabon have started to emerge as solid players while Kangaroos’ key forward prospect Tom Curran will be a strong-bodied inclusion.
Curran has been sidelined this year with an ongoing foot injury.
FitzGerald said is was important to dissect this season first before plotting how best to work back into the VFL’s top eight.
The Roosters were in unfamiliar territory by round five, on the ladder bottom with one win and five losses.
They turned form around in a strong second half to the season by winning six of their last nine matches, finishing with a one-point win against reigning premier Port Melbourne.
Roosters captain Marc Greig is the only confirmed departure, retiring at the season’s end.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.