Bombers set wheels in motion

Grady Rooke will play in the Hampden league next season after signing with Cobden this week.

COBDEN’S 2019 Hampden league football prospects have received a boost on the eve of Christmas, with the club announcing a series of signings.

New coach Adam Courtney confirmed Simpson wingman Grady Rooke has signed for 2019, while former junior Ned Dalziel will return after a year away.

The club has also elevated midfielder Daniel Watson to an assistant coaching role after both club and player identified the possibility of the arrangement.

Courtney said Watson’s appointment only occurred recently, but added Cobden had considered making him a potential playing assistant shortly after last season.

He said he is looking forward to using Watson’s experience and knowledge to the Bombers’ advantage, adding the 24 year-old was keen to see Cobden strive back up the ladder.

“It was discussed at subcommittee level early days and then Dan expressed some interest in taking on the role,” he said.

“He’s really committed to the club and wants to see the club have success.

“He has really high values and a really good footy background and is keen to learn.”

Courtney is excited to have Rooke, a player he coached at Simpson, on board, with the small midfielder eager to test himself at Hampden league level.

“Grady is a really talented player,” he said.

“He’s been a Colac and District Football League interleague player and has played in two premierships and played 80 games of senior footy.

“He’s only 20 years of age and has a great work ethic and we see him playing across half back and on the wing for us.

“He’s got a lot of mates at Cobden and he’s going to put himself up there to have a crack at playing the higher level.”

Courtney said Dalziel, a two time under 18.5 premiership player, would help address a need for talls as “we don’t have a lot of height within the club”.

He said Dalziel who is “about six foot two” would play as a utility.

“He’s really fit and he’s going to add to that versatility where he can play at both half back and the wing,” he said.

“He’s another that will put that work ethic in on the track, which is what we’re trying to push at the moment.”

Adding to the list may not stop there, with Courtney also confirming the club was still in discussions with potential recruits.

He said a number of those had trained in the last month, adding he was hopeful more signings would be imminent.

“We’re hoping to have a few more come on board in the next two to three weeks,” he said.

The new Bombers mentor has already made an immediate impact in his first pre-season since taking charge, pushing to change the culture and standards of his players.

He introduced an eight week gym program as a lead-in to Cobden’s official pre-season, which resulted in immediate buy-in from his playing cohort.

The gym sessions attracted around 30 players, while Courtney was rewarded with strong showings on the track in return when pre-season began.

“We’ve averaged 30 on the track over pre-season, with over 55 different players at senior, reserve and under 18.5 level,” Courtney said.

“We’re really rapt with that and seeing the boys put the work in to push back up the ladder.

“We couldn’t be happier with how things have started.”

The Bombers will return to pre-season training on January 21.

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