Former Dragons enter Tigers’ lair

By
Updated: February 17, 2016
Bell Park premiership star Ben Kennedy (pictured) and Jarrod Thompson have joined Torquay. Picture: VICKI KING
Bell Park premiership star Ben Kennedy (pictured) and Jarrod Thompson have joined Torquay. Picture: VICKI KING

Bell Park premiership star Ben Kennedy (pictured) and Jarrod Thompson have joined Torquay. Picture: VICKI KING

IF Torquay was keen to add some big-game experience to its list as it looks to end a 10-year premiership drought then is hasn’t gone wrong with its two latest signings.

Ben Kennedy returns home after six seasons with Bell Park, which yielded 103 games and the 2011 premiership.

Fellow former Dragon Jarrod Thompson has joined him at Spring Creek Reserve.

Thompson only played one year at Hamlyn Park, 2014, but arrived in Geelong from a stint with Ovens and Murray club Yarrawonga in 2o13 where he played in a premiership alongside Brendan Fevola.

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Tigers coach Dom Gleeson says Thompson, who has represented Vic Country on numerous occasions, will hold down a key defensive post.

However, Gleeson says they won’t rush his return.

“We’ve just got to get him up and going again,” he said.

“He’s had 12 months off footy, so he is behind the eight-ball.

“He’s very keen to have an impact, but when you have almost 18 months out of footy, we’re not putting all our hopes into Jarrod.”

Gleeson says Kennedy can be used in a number of roles.

“Hopefully he can add something up forward, but we know he can play down back as well,” Gleeson said.

“We’re excited about the two additions.”

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However, the Tigers have so far been unable to find a ruckman to provide support to veteran Mick Stanley.

Gleeson says the club is working closely to fast-track the development of youngster Mackenzie Burns, who has played 12 games in three seasons since graduating from the club’s Colts team.

“He’s quite big, quite versatile and quite strong,” Gleeson said.

“We promised him, if he did hang around, we’d put some time into him.

“And his repaid the faith already in regards to how fit he’s become.

“He got involved back at Jan Juc Surf Lifesaving Club and he’s on of the ground at the moment, so we’re excited about that.”

Torquay opens its 2016 campaign with a night clash against Barwon Heads at Spring Creek Reserve on March 26.

Twitter: @tom_king79