A link going back over a decade has helped Bell Park coach James Saker lure Euriah Hollard up Minvera Road.
The Newtown & Chilwell small forward has agreed to join the Dragons after kicking 22 goals in 17 games for the Eagles in 2023.
Saker has known the Hollard family since joining Ovens and Murray club Lavington as coach in 2012.
“We’re really good family friends, and that connection enabled some informal chats to happen,” Saker said.
“And eventually (there were) more formal chats about what Euriah’s football would look like in 2024.
“We’re pretty excited that he’s decided to get on board and try and develop his footy with us.”
A graduate of the Geelong Falcons program, where he played while studying at Geelong College, Hollard made two VFL appearances for the GWS Giants in the Covid-impacted 2021 season.
He made an appearance for Geelong’s VFL team this year, kicking three goals in the final-round win over the Giants.
Hollard is training with the Cats in the hope of retaining his spot at GMHBA Stadium.
“He comes to us, initially, as a small forward who can hit the scoreboard for us, and that’s an area we wanted to bolster,” Saker said.
“But, we think a guy with his skill level and talent, he can roll up into the stoppage.
“And he’s played off a halfback flank, which we’d look at.
“I think, for his development – and he has aspirations to play more footy at the VFL level – we want to try in as best we can to give him a more rounded skillset.
Hollard is training with Geelong in the hope of retaining his spot at GMHBA Stadium.
He will be joined by his brother Noah – who has also been playing at Newtown & Chilwell – at Hi Sushi Oval in 2024.
Hollard is the sixth senior regular to depart Eldeslie Reserve, following Tom Panuccio (Swan Districts), Lachie Bond (Redan), Matt Boag (Torquay), and Geelong Amateur-bound duo Blake Sutterby and Harrison Orr.
Panuccio’s move was confirmed late last week, where he will link up with former Geelong VFL teammates Jackson McLachlan and two-time reigning best-and-fairest Jye Chalcraft.