The bonds of home have called Andrew Clarke back to Osborne next season while his fellow former co-coach at The Rock-Yerong Creek, Andy Carey, says knee surgery and a coaching gig at Albury Tigers are set to end his playing days.
Key defender Clarke had been considering staying on under new Pies coach Tom Yates but will instead return to the Hume League.
“I think his family ties at Osborne have enticed him to go back,” Yates said.
“They’re all going back to have a year or two together.”
Clarke is keen to play with his brother Matt and cousin Stephen who are likely to hang up the boots at the end of next year.
Retirement looks more immediate for Clarke’s former partner-in-coaching.
Andy Carey has been appointed as an assistant coach (non-playing) at his old club Albury Tigers.
TRYC – and the star forward – had hoped he might be able to make some cameo appearances or play the back end of the season.
Carey still doesn’t utter the word ‘retirement’ but said that’s the advice ahead of next month’s knee surgery.
“The surgeons have told me if I play any more after this, I’d be an idiot,” Carey said. “I probably played a season too long (already).”
The Pies have also lost centre-half-forward Mitch Ward as well as Mitch Stephenson, Josh Ashcroft and Charlie and Harri White.
Yates said their losses have been offset to some extent by the signing of Narrandera pair Tim Sullivan and Lachie Hunter as well as ext Wagga Tigers forward Fergus Inglis and the promising Max Hillier.
“Pretty comfortable with what we’ve recruited,” Yates said.
“I think we may get one or two more yet. We’re just in the process of talking to a few blokes.
“I’m hopeful of landing another forward but we’ve got Ferg Inglis, we’ve got the option of (Josh) Meiselbach, he’s a tall, and there’s a few other options there.”
- See Footballers on the Move for the off-season comings and goings