COROWA-Rutherglen has struck gold, signing North East Australian Football League star Brett Fruend.
And in a further boost for the Roos, Fruend, who is coming off a career-best season, will be joined at John Foord Oval by Queanbeyan clubmate Kaeden Watts, a left-footed flanker. The pair have signed one-year deals.
Fruend enjoyed a breakout season under former North Albury ace Kade Klemke at Queanbeyan.
He finished eighth in the league’s goal-kicking.
The medium-sized forward, who booted 46 goals, was key in the Tigers’ premiership team which upset the Sydney Swans’ reserves in the Eastern Conference grand final.
Watts played in three division 1 premierships under new Corowa-Rutherglen coach Adrian Pavese.
Pavese said the pair would add plenty to the Roos’ list.
“I’ve known them both for five years now,” Pavese said yesterday.
“The Tigers are obviously going to be cranky about it but I’m rapt the boys have come down to help me out.
“They know the way I coach and the structures I’ll want to put in place.
“That will hopefully help the other guys pick them up easier, too.
“I’m rapt to have them on board.”
Pavese warned the Ovens and Murray could suit Fruend even more than the NEAFL.
“The O and M is a much more physical competition which, hopefully, means there’s going to be more opportunities at ground level for him,” he said.
“Don’t get me wrong, he can mark on the lead and overhead with the best of them but he’s a really smart operator at ground level.
“He really had a breakout year last season.
“These boys won’t be the saviours but they’ll certainly give us some depth, which is what we needed.”
Corowa-Rutherglen president Ray McLarty was thrilled to announce the coup.
“They’re a couple of hard bodies that we needed to add,” McLarty said. “That’s what we’re really excited about.
“We’re extremely happy to get a couple of players who we’ve targeted.
“They’re both excited about playing in the O and M.”
Corowa-Rutherglen, like several other Ovens and Murray clubs, resumed preseason training on Monday night. About 40 players attended.