The Bendigo Football Club has added some much-needed size to its squad with the signing of former Bendigo Pioneers ruckman Troy Kelm.
The 198cm, 90kg big man has played the past three seasons with Kerang in the Central Murray Football League and won the VCFL medal in the Blues’ grand final triumph over Woorineen last season.
The 24-year-old is presently playing for Nightcliff in the Northern Territory Football League.
“My mail is he’s just a genuine, quality tap ruckman who reads the game well and he’s real courageous,” Bendigo Gold coach Aussie Jones said yesterday.
“I think some of our small blokes will certainly enjoy playing with him, that’s for sure.
“He won the medal in the Central Murray League grand final and dominated for Kerang last year.
“He’s in the best in Darwin basically every week – my mail is it’s pretty good footy, it’s not VFL, but it would rival a lot of the big leagues in Victoria.
“He’ll play through the Darwin season, which means he won’t do a lot of our pre-season, but he’ll be in ripping form because he’ll be hardened, match-fit and ready to go.”
With plenty of midfield depth, Jones is still keen to add more height to the list.
“We need some height, we’re still in communication with a couple of other guys because ‘Kelmy’ will be good for us, but I’d be happy to play three ruckman,” Jones said.
“Guys like ‘Kelmy’, 198cm, if we got another one of them we could rotate them key forward, ruck and on the bench.”
Jones is still talking to some AFL and VFL-experienced players, but is hoping to snare some TAC Cup talent by offering them regular opportunities at senior level.
Jones is aiming to build the appeal of playing VFL in Bendigo by developing young players to be drafted.
“We know we’re going to be young and inexperienced, but we are working to a plan of going guys who might play some VFL then get drafted,” he said.
“If we happen to have one or two (drafted) other young blokes might say ‘Bendigo’s system might actually be ok’.
“It’s going to take some time, but we know that, but if we can get one or two drafted that would be huge for us.”