Grubber returns home

April 5, 2024 9:30 am in by
Kai Annand in action for Ocean Grove in 2022. (Marcel Berens/Sports Media)

Ocean Grove’s chances of avoiding a 0-2 start to the BFNL season have been boosted following the return of Geelong VFL-listed big man Kye Annand from Geelong West.

The Grubbers lodged a clearance for Annand earlier this week, with the Giants approving it in time for tomorrow’s clash with Portarlington despite him being contracted to the GFNL club.

Annand, whose brother Kobe will lineup with North Shore tomorrow, had Geelong West as his interchange club during 2023, where he played nine games and kicked five goals for the Cats.

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“We are looking forward to seeing him back out there tomorrow,” Ocean Grove coach Dave Farrell said.

“He’ll bring some energy, and he’s a great talent. But we’re really aware of where he’s at with his footy.

“We’d be just as excited to see him back out play VFL.”

Farrell is looking forward to seeing Annand work in combination with fellow ruck Ed Dayman.

“Ed’s probably as excited as anyone,” he said. “They’ve got an awesome relationship, having played together previously.

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“Also, socially, they’re really well connected.

“We’ll leave it between them as to how they rotate.

“They’re both pretty selfless and excited about what the other one will do.”

Geelong West coach Greg Mellor would have liked to have kept Annand but was also comfortable to let him go.

“We’ve got a lot of time for Kye; he’s a terrific young man from a terrific family,” he said.

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“We’ve invested a lot of time in him and his development, but his best interests were to return to play at his home club.

“It was probably a right-right decision in the end.

“We could have been right and held him to his contract, but we felt it was the right decision to let him go.”

Ocean Grove has made five changes to the team that lost to Queenscliff on Good Friday.

Among those missing are co-coach Nick Bourke, reigning best-and-fairest Max Sutton, recruit Harry Cashin, and Brady Pritchard.

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Joining Annand as inclusions are teenage debutants James Robbins, Ben Coote and Hugo Walsh, while Nathan Down has been promoted from the reserves.

Meanwhile, Portarlington’s quest to start the season 2-0 for the first time since 2010 has suffered a blow.

The Demons have been forced into three changes to the team that defeated Newcomb in Round 1.

Hamstring injuries have sidelined star duo Mitch Turnbull and Jaryd Cachia, while Shane Wiffen is in the 21-day concussion protocol.


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In other changes to BFNL teams, premiership star Jesse Dawson is back for Torquay’s clash with Newcomb at Grinter Reserve.

However, the Tigers will be without star forward Lucas Anderson and veteran defender Tim Carty, who are both unavailable.

The Power have lost Damien Horbury (sternum), with Jack Drought and Pat McGinley dropped.

Corey Ogle and Tom Courtney have been included.

Horbury will take charge of Newcomb with coach Tony Mirabella unavailable.

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Drysdale has added Flinn Chisholm to its lineup for the crucial Past Players’ Day clash with Barwon Heads.

Chisholm was forced out of the Round 1 loss to Torquay following a bout of gastro.

The Hawks will have to wait another week for star recruit Cam Delaney (glute) to make his club debut.

X: @krockfootball