Corowa-Rutherglen’s build towards moving up the ladder has received a significant boost, signing Vermont midfielder Andrew Pretto.
The 26-year-old has been a regular senior player with the Eastern league powerhouse over the past five years, although a hamstring injury stalled last season.
“He’s an outside midfielder, he’s super fit and played some really high quality football, so he’ll be a really good player for us,” Roos’ coach Marc Almond said.
“He’ll add some outside class, some real professionalism, he trains at a high level and will bring some experience to the group too.”
He finished equal third in the Eagles’ best and fairest in 2016.
Given his recent battles with injury, Pretto had been considering a change, but it was only a random call from former workmate and fellow Roos’ signing Rohan Davies that swayed him.
“Playing country footy is always something I’ve wanted to have a go at because I’m a big fan of country community,” Pretto said.
“I haven’t had a whole lot of exposure integrating into a really tight-knit small community and a couple of my good mates go up to Corowa for holidays and they say it’s a fantastic little town, they said you’ll love it.”
While the hamstring complaint derailed 2018, Pretto maintains he’s at the peak of his powers physically and he’ll need to be too as the Roos look to build on their three wins after two winless years.
“I’m obviously pretty aware of how they’ve gone the past few years, particularly 2016-17, but obviously seeing there’s improvement this year,” Pretto said.
“I think it’s a good opportunity to be part of the improvement and development of that young team.
“I’ve been in a position where I’ve been led by some awesome and influential players and I’m looking at it as an opportunity to step up and be that for another group of people.”
Pretto’s first captain at Vermont was suburban league superstar Ryan Mullet, while he also played with former Hawthorn rookie Tom Schneider and ex-Port Adelaide’s Brett Eddy.
Pretto’s passion for the club’s development is just what officials love to hear and there’s quiet optimism, given at the corresponding time last year the Roos had 28 contracted players as compared to 45 now.
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