Giants land Jets best-and-fairest

January 19, 2024 2:30 pm in by
Geelong West has signed reigning Western Jets best-and-fairest Jake Smith. (Morgan Hancock/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Geelong West has further boosted its midfield with the signing of Werribee-listed teenager Jake Smith.

The winner of last year’s Western Jets best-and-fairest in the Coates Talent League, 185cm Smith averaged 22.6 disposals and 3.8 marks.

Giants coach Greg Mellor says a link to West helped them secure Smith, who is aiming to become the third generation of his family to wear a Werribee jumper after dad Karl and grandfather Brian.

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“He can find the footy and use it really well, he loves to tackle, and he’s a goalkicking midfielder,” Mellor said.

“If we get an opportunity to see him, it’ll be great for us.

“He played one VFL game last year for Williamstown; he was invited down to train with the (under-18) Vic Metro squad.

“He’s got some potential. He’s an exciting prospect for us to add to our midfield when we get to see him.”

Smith joins the returning Lachie Taylor (South Fremantle) and newcomers Frazer Robb (Koroit) and Mac Scoullar (GWV Rebels/Ballarat) as handy additions for the Giants.

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They will commence their campaign to end a 16-year finals drought with an away meeting against reigning premier Leopold on April 13.


Meanwhile, reigning grand finalist South Barwon has added Geelong VFL hopeful Muoteer Reech to its squad before returning to pre-season training later this month.

An underage player with Newtown & Chilwell and St Mary’s, Reech spent last year with WAFL club East Fremantle, where he played 16 games.

He is training with Geelong’s VFL squad in the hope of earning a list spot with the Cats.

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“He’s raw; he’s athletic – he’s 6’3″ (190cm), but he’s a slight 6’3″,” coach Mark Neeld said. “He’s athletic in terms of speed and agility. He’s a runner – he’ll be an attacking player: half-back, wing.

“He’s spent the last year at East Freo really honing his game.”

Reech is one of five Swans training with VFL clubs.

Also at the Cats are Todd White, Tom Peirce, and Grovedale recruit Ethan Borys, while Torquay product Tom Burke is at Carlton.

The Swans have also added Blair Huggins from noted football nursery Assumption College.

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Huggins, who also spent two years on the Talent League club Calder Cannons’ list, will study at nearby Deakin University.

“I caught up with him with (football boss) Shane Madigan and (recruiter) Brendan Curry, and he interviewed us – not the other way around,” Neeld said.

“He’s serious about being good at football, and he’s serious to see how far his football ability can take him.

“He’s aware that people like myself and ‘Buddha’ (Garry Hocking) and Ronnie Watt and Dev Smith have been at the higher level.

“So, he’s keen to get involved with coaching group who have that and see how he goes.”

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South Barwon has practice matches against Old Brighton on March 16 and Leopold on March 23 before making the short trip to Burdoo Reserve for a Round 1 meeting with Grovedale for the John Nankervis Shield on April 13.


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