VFL Cats add former Blue

Updated: February 1, 2016
Jake Edwards is among the first signings to Geelong's VFL list for 2016. Picture: AL PACKER
Jake Edwards is among the first signings to Geelong's VFL list for 2016. Picture: AL PACKER

Jake Edwards is among the first signings to Geelong’s VFL list for 2016. Picture: AL PACKER

GEELONG has confirmed its first signing for 2016 with Jake Edwards set to reignite his VFL career at the Cats.

Edwards, who played five games for Carlton in 2008, was part of Port Melbourne’s 2011 premiership side and has spent the past four years playing with Darley in the Ballarat Football League.

He won the Henderson Medal as the league’s best and fairest in 2013 and been named in the Team of the Year every season since 2012.

The 28-year-old is the cousin of new VFL Cats coach Shane O’Bree and Edwards said the former Brisbane Lions and Collingwood midfielder encouraged him to give the state league another go.

“I think Shane had the belief I could still mix it in the VFL,” Edwards told the Cats’ website.

“I got a little bit of that spark again, that passion for a higher level of footy. I probably didn’t realise how much I missed the competitiveness of that higher level and intensity.

“It was something I quickly fell in love with and I was rapt that Shane put some belief in me.”

Edwards’ family connections to the AFL run deep.

His father Allan ‘Butch’ Edwards played 113 games at Richmond, Collingwood and Footscray, his grandfather Arthur Edwards represented the Tigers in 120 matches and his great-grandfather Frank Aked senior made 116 appearances for the Bulldogs.

Edwards was picked up by Carlton in the 2005 national draft and delisted at the end of 2009.

VFL Manager Troy Selwood said Edwards had impressed so far over the summer.

“Jake is an extremely versatile player – he has the capability to play key defence and as a mobile forward,” Selwood said.

“He has demonstrated great leadership qualities over the preseason, has a unique story to tell, and I believe will be a fantastic mentor for emerging AFL and VFL-listed players.”

The VFL Cats’ training squad will head to Torquay this weekend for a training camp with their first practice match scheduled against Essendon on Saturday, March 12 at the Bombers’ Tullamarine training base.

Bendigo Bank