There is no wiping the smile off the face of Torquay coach Dom Gleeson after luring Matt Boag back to the club for the first time in nearly a decade.
The reigning Newtown & Chilwell best-and-fairest was unveiled as the reigning BFNL premier’s marquee signing for next year, having last played with the Tigers in 2014.
“It’s super exciting to get him back,” Gleeson, who took over as coach in 2015, said.
“We’ve been trying since I first started.
“He played senior footy in the two years prior to me coming down … and it’s probably one of the reasons why he felt so fondly about Torquay – being given the opportunity at such a young age.”
Gleeson says the return of Boag will be a rare addition at McCartney Oval.
He says the Tigers, who outlasted Drysdale in last month’s grand to win its first flag since 2017, are confident of internal growth from its young list.
“I feel like we just scratched the surface, with a few of them still under 50 games,” Gleeson said.
“It’s exciting to win the premiership and recruit well, but retention has been our main focus since July.
“We’ve managed to lock away every premiership player from this year other than Ben Raidme (retired).”
The prospect of Boag combining with James Darke, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Round 7, also has Gleeson looking forward to Torquay’s push to go back-to-back for the first time since 1989.
However, Gleeson has urged the four-time Les Ash medalist not to rush his return.
“But’s he training very hard. I know he’s in the pool, he’s lifting weights,” Gleeson said.
“We might see a little bit of a brand new ‘Darkey’. I think it’s a nice little reset for him.
“He’s very switched on. He’ll time it right and make sure he’s there at the pointy end.”