THE Warrack Eagles continued their trend of recruiting past players back to the club with the announcement that Nick and Jake Peters will return to the club in 2018.
Nick has spent the past two season’s playing for Lake Wendouree in the Ballarat Football League. He had previously played 100 games of VFL football for the North Ballarat Roosters including the 2010 premiership.
Coach Ryan McKenzie said it was great to welcome Nick back to the club.
“I’d rate him as potentially the best midfielder that will be running around in the Wimmera league next season,” he said.
“We played together in the club’s last under-17s premiership in 2005 before he went off to play a lot of Rebels and down in Ballarat.”
After making his Roosters debut in 2009 Nick defied injuries to become a workhorse in the Roosters midfield and eventually shared the club’s best and fairest award with Liam Anthony in 2014.
A year later he bowed out of the VFL ranks after playing his 100th game and quickly established himself as a star of the BFL.
McKenzie said the 27-year-old’s experience at a higher level will be great for his team that remains relatively young.
“He’ll obviously be able to help the development of those young guys because he has been involved in those higher level setups,” he said. “He is just going to bring so much back to the club.”
Jake, unrelated to Nick, will also add depth to the Warrack Eagles midfield while providing a medium-sized option the side lacked in its forward line during the 2017 season.
“He has spent a lot of his footy career running around on the ball as well but in the past couple of seasons he has spent more time down forward,” McKenzie said.
“With the way our midfield depth is looking I think he’ll spend a fair bit of time forward again but he also has a bigger body we can send through the middle as well.”
Jake has spent the past three seasons playing for Bannockburn in the Geelong and District Football League while studying at university. In 2014, his most recent Wimmera league season, he was voted best opposition player and finished fifth in the Toohey medal count behind Kieran Delahunty.
“He’ll fit into our forward line nicely,” McKenzie said. “Shannon Argall, Scott Adams and Jesse Murphy will continue to be our big targets but he provides another really good option.”
Club president Adrian Bibby said it was always good to be able to welcome back home-grown talent.
“We’ve been lucky with the guys that we’ve brought in because they have really bought into what we are trying to do,” he said.
“The supporters really enjoy seeing familiar faces and names return to the club though. To have people come back who have a connection to the club is really important.”
McKenzie reiterated the importance of home-grown players.
“That has certainly been a focus in my two seasons back,” he said. “It sends a good message to supporters, sponsors and other potential recruits that this is a great place to be.
“It’s great to be able to lock in some key players early and I’m confident we should be able retain most of our 2017 list.”
That list saw the club come within seven points of its first senior grand final since 2012 and the club is set to be even more threatening in 2018.
“There is already plenty of excitement among members, players and sponsors for next season,” McKenzie said. “That’s exactly what you need at a small community club.”