The South Barwon influence on GDFNL struggler Anakie’s reinvigoration has just gotten more potent with the signing of Jay Lever.
One of the best key defenders of the 2010s in the GFNL, the 30-year-old former St Kilda draftee, who didn’t play in 2023, signed with the Roos on Wednesday night.
A chance to link up with several former teammates, including news Roos coach Jayke Mawson, was an opportunity Lever couldn’t knock back after being approached about a comeback at his sister’s wedding in November.
“(Having) the year off last year and wanting to get back in and have a run around, it was always there,” Lever said.
“So, I think it made it a little bit easier to go in with a group of boys I already knew.”
As well as Mawson, Lever played with fellow Anakie acquisitions Andrew Boseley, Jesse Mawson, Joel Jahn, and Mitch McKee at South Barwon.
He also took to the field with Luke Dahlhaus at the Geelong Falcons.
Lever says he’s missed the camaraderie of being part of a club.
“Having that year off, you don’t understand what you’ve missed,” he said.
“When I went out there, Bose (Boseley) was trying to hit up Steve Toppa (Topuzakis).
“Now someone was at fault, and I’m not pointing the finger whether it was Bose or Steve, but the kick didn’t hit (the target), and there was just a bit of banter between the both of them.
“And I was like, ‘I’ve missed that’. It made me go, ‘I definitely want to get back into this’.
Unbeknownst to Lever, he joins the club where his grandfather Brian spent three seasons as coach between 1969 and 71.
“There are a few supporters that are out there, and I was informed that my grandfather had played out there at some point, which I had no idea about,” he said.