After weeks of speculation about where his football future lay, Paddy Dowling has signed with Bellarine club Geelong Amateur.
The star St Mary’s forward had been linked with Thomson in the GDFNL.
However, Dowling – the grandson of St Mary’s and local football icon Don Mathieson – was unveiled as an Ammos recruit earlier tonight. (Wednesday).
Co-coach Dan Holroyd told K rock Football that Dowling only recently came onto Amateur’s radar.
“We got to a point where we hadn’t finished recruiting, but we’d finished looking for targeted players,” he said.
“There was still a couple we were talking to, but he wasn’t one.
“But we’ve had Brydon Barnett decide to go overseas this year, and Josh Grabowski moved on only a week ago.
“So it’s freed up some points we wouldn’t have had … and we heard Paddy was potentially available.
“He’s the kind of guy you are usually onto at the start of things – they don’t usually pop up in January.”
Dowling played with the Geelong Falcons before VFL stints with Geelong and Collingwood and a short tenure with SANFL club Glenelg in 2021.
At St Mary’s, the 25-year-old kicked 157 goals in 85 games, featuring in their 2019 and 2022 premierships.
He was also named in the GFNL Team of the Year in 2022.
“I’ve seen him play quite a few times, and he’s one of those blokes that back in my days at Joeys, his name would always be on the whiteboard before the games from the opposition,” Holroyd said.
“He’s one of those blokes who’s a really tough matchup, so it’s nice to have him on our side.”
Dowling is the third big-name recruit to land at KFC Oval, joining former Werribee star Tom Gribble and the returning Blake Sutterby after five years at Newtown & Chilwell.
Throw in Sutterby’s ‘Towners teammate Harrison Orr, and it’s been a fruitful off-season for Ammos, who missed the finals for just the third time since the turn of the century.
“We’re happy … put it that way,” Holroyd said.
Geelong Amateur will have practice match meetings with Spotswood at Anakie on March 2 and Williamstown CYMS on March 16 before opening its 2024 campaign in a twilight clash with Modewarrre at Community Bank Oval on Good Friday.