The Standard | CAMPERDOWN recruit Brendan Richardson has arrived at the perfect time for the Hampden league finals hopefuls.
The former Cobden key defender, who took a year off football in 2016, will slot into a back six that was set to miss its general for much of the season.
Daniel Seehusen, who claimed the Magpies’ senior football best and fairest award last year, will be available only for a handful of games after he picked up work in the Solomon Islands, according to coach Phil Carse.
“He’ll come back for a month of footy during the year and will be available for finals (if we make them),” Carse said.
“It will be Brendan and Billy Arnold who’ll be our main guys in those key spots.”
Richardson, who last played football in 2015, had been expected to play with Simpson in the Colac and District league last season, before opting to take the year to recharge the batteries.
“He decided to have the year off in the end, just step away from footy for a bit,” Carse said. “Now he’s keen to get back into it this year.”
Richardson has been training with the Magpies for the past month and lodged a clearance to the 2016 finalist this week.
Carse said the lock-down defender had performed well in his first hit-out for the club in a practice match against CDFNL club Irrewarra-Beeac, playing half a game as he works his way back.
The Magpies have also welcomed back Charlie Fry – from the Victorian Amateur Football Association – who is set to play across half-back, while Luke Clarke, Matthew Field and Charlie Bradshaw will reprise their roles in the back six.
At the other end of the ground, Camperdown will be bolstered by the return of star forward Jordan Bain, who kicked 23 goals in five matches before rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last season.
He will work in tandem with fellow tall forward Jacob Mahony, who missed most of last season through a knee injury, as the Magpies look to strengthen their attacking plays.
“We’ve been working a little bit on our movement into the forward line,” Carse said.
“Adding Jordan Bain to the list, along with Liam Darcy, and Jacob Mahony returning from injury – we get these tall options (that we didn’t have most of last year).”
For the Magpies, who peaked at the right time of the season to secure a late finals berth last year, the challenge is now before them to back up their top-five finish and push deeper into finals.
“We were still obviously a fair way off the top sides last year,” Carse said. “All the guys are a bit older now and got that bit more experience.
“We’ve topped up with some pretty handy players. We’re hoping to keep building on the last few seasons.”