Lions secure seven recruits in seven days

Levi Greenwood has joined Deer Park. (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright)

Tara Murray

Two former AFL players headline Deer Park’s seven recruits in seven days announced by the Western Region Football League division 1 side last week.

The Lions have made their intentions known early for the 2022 season with a number of key signings.

Former North Melbourne and Collingwood midfielder Levi Greenwood was the first signing announced and it was quickly followed by that of forward Aaron Edwards.

Former VFL Jordy Pollard was the third player announced, with youngster Luke Goater announced on Thursday. The other three signings came after deadline.

Lions coach Mark McGoldrick said the club had targeted Greenwood following his retirement from the AFL, with McGoldrick having a mutual contact at Collingwood.

Greenwood played 160 AFL games, retiring earlier this year after speaking with doctors following a series of head knocks. McGoldrick said he had a medical clearance to play.

“I feel like we were a little bit weak in the midfield this year,” he said. “We got beaten around the ball and wanted to add some class and strengthen the side.

“Levi’s leadership will help with that and he’s a natural leader. Last night at the training session he was sensational.”

He said Greenwood would just be at the club at a playing capacity next year.

McGoldrick said that Edwards would help address concerns in the forward line.

Edwards played 94 games across three clubs, the last of those in 2014 when he was delisted by Richmond.

The forward has played with several local football clubs since, most recently St Kilda City this year.

He kicked 53 goals in 12 games including a bag of 10.

“We couldn’t kick more than 10 goals last season,” he said.

“The back line was terrific, but we just couldn’t kick goals. Todd Elton [another former AFL] only played four matches and he will stand alongside Edwards.”

Jordy Pollard played more than 80 VFL games before heading overseas to try his luck at punting in American football.

Having played just three games of football in the past four years, McGoldrick said they weren’t putting high expectations on him.

Goater comes to the club from the Sunbury Lions in the Ballarat Football League. Goater played with the Calder Cannons and was on Footscray’s VFL list this season.

McGoldrick said the other signings were quality footballers.

With the big recruiting spree, the Lions are setting themselves for another tilt at a premiership.

The Lions were sitting fourth when the season ended due to COVID-19, having won the past seven premierships, the last in 2019.

“It was a reset year, ” he said of this year. “We will be a lot more competitive next year.

“A lot of clubs thought we were dead in the ground.”

McGoldrick said the club would still have less player points than other clubs despite slipping down the ladder this year.

He said the club was pretty hurt by that decision.