Pigeons shore up ruck with signings

YARRAWONGA has lured premiership duo Brandon Symes and Scott Oswald back to J.C. Lowe Oval.

In a significant boost to the Pigeons chances of winning three successive flags, Symes returns after a one-year stint with Williamstown while Oswald is back from overseas.

The Pigeons also expect Symes’ younger brother, Damon, to be given plenty of senior opportunities after he won the Leo Dean award for the league’s third’s best and fairest this year.

“We are rapt to have them on board,” dual premiership coach Chris Kennedy said.

“Brandon played in a flag with us last year while Damon is an emerging tall and won the league medal.

“It’s pretty special for those two boys to be able to play together and are both home-grown talent.

“So alongside Steve McKee who has recommitted we think our ruck stocks are looking very healthy.

“Brandon was a very good player in the ruck before he went away but played a lot in attack for Williamstown so we think he can also cause a few headaches when resting forward next year.

“Alongside Brendan Fevola and Brad O’Connor it will help us stretch most opposition defences.”

Symes, 22, spent most of the year in the VFL’s development league where he played in a premiership.

He broke into the strong Seagulls’ line-up in round 19.

Oswald returns to Yarrawonga where he previously spent five years and played in the club’s 2006 premiership under Bob Craig.

The former Murray Bushranger last played with the Pigeons in 2010 and was a VCFL medallist as the Ovens and Murray’s best player against Goulburn Valley in 2007.

Kennedy said Oswald would be an ideal half-back replacement for two-time premiership player Nick Lawless who has signed with Pascoe Vale in the Essendon and District league.

“He has been overseas for a couple of years,” Kennedy said.

“But he is a premiership player and has been training well.

“Scott is an experienced defender and has played a lot of good footy and we don’t think he will having any trouble adjusting back to the tempo of the Ovens and Murray.”

Yarrawonga has kept most of its premiership list together with the exception of Lawless (Pascoe Vale), Jarrod Thompson, Corey Greer (Kangaroo Flat) and Matt Dwyer (knee).

“We are pretty happy about where our list is at,” Kennedy said.

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