GROSSMAN SIGNS ON: Best and fairest winner back in Pies' net

Click or flick across for more photos of Matt Grossman in action for the Pies. 

WANGARATTA has enhanced its chances of playing Ovens and Murray finals next season by re-signing reigning best and fairest winner Matt Grossman.

Although Grossman’s good friends James Wong and Ben Davies recently signed deals with Deer Park and Williamstown, the Magpies have convinced the speedster to stay on for a third season at Norm Minns Oval.

His signing caps off a strong finish to the club’s off-season recruiting campaign, with star rover Jamie Allan and key forward Joel Harris (Heidelberg), Lee Dale (Myrtleford) and Xavier Norden (Aberfeldie) coming on board in recent weeks.

“We’re really happy with how it’s come together,” Magpie coach Mark Knobel said.

“Matt Grossman’s a good player and a big part of the side.

“We think we have done fairly well with our recruiting.”

Speculation had been rife that Grossman would return to Melbourne following the departure of Wong and Davies and the fact that he put negotiations on hold while travelling overseas.

It is believed the league’s quickest player also received several lucrative offers from Melbourne clubs.

Wangaratta has also picked up Berrigan coach Justin Hoggan and Murray Bushrangers pair Jade Cleeland and Louis Vescio.

Knobel ruled out targeting any more recruits, saying “that’s about it for us”.

Rodgers finished sixth in a state race at Mordialloc at the weekend.

“I was second in the swim and came out of the water on the heels of the leader but I was nervous in the transition, didn’t push in the 500-metre run from the water to the bike and suddenly I lost contact with the group,” he said.

“But I have had the chance to race against and watch guys like Jesse Featonby at home.

“He’s been to World Cups and that is the ultimate goal, so to race against him, watch how he goes about his sport, is just fantastic.”

Rodgers’ immediate goal is the first of the national triathlon series in Queensland in a little over a week.

“It’s a three-day, seven-race event where the emphasis is on sprint distances,” he said.

“But I want to be ready for the junior nationals next year.

“I want to finish in the top-10.”

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