Luke Gerhard returns to Temora and best-and-fairest Sam Jensen among Roos' resignings

GOING HOME: Luke Gerhard playing for Temora in 2013. After two seasons at Coolamon, the triple premiership player is returning to the Kangaroos next year. Picture: Les Smith

GOING HOME: Luke Gerhard playing for Temora in 2013. After two seasons at Coolamon, the triple premiership player is returning to the Kangaroos next year. Picture: Les Smith

A triple premiership player at Temora, Luke Gerhard says the call to come home proved too hard to resist as he joined the ranks of returning Roos.

The club has also locked three of its Canberra-based players, Daniel Hespe, Kieran Shea and best-and-fairest winner Sam Jensen. 

For Gerhard, it was the right time to head back after two seasons with Coolamon in the Riverina League.

“I would’ve liked to stay at Coolamon but t’ll be good to get back there and play with a few of my mates, I’m pretty keen,” Gerhard said.

“I watched a few games and they struggled a bit so hopefully we can get the club back up there and be competitive.

“You feel a bit bad playing away from your home club but a change was the best thing that could’ve happened to me to freshen up and get keen again.”

Gerhard joins midfielder Robbie Drummond and forward Matt Wallis in coming back while fellow forward Matt Harpley is a virtual gain after missing the whole season with injury.

New Temora coach Jake Wooden is rapt to have Gerhard rejoining and, with a potential surplus of forward options, is considering using him through the middle.

“He’s a high half-forward but the fitter he is, he can push up through the middle and play as an extra on-baller,” Wooden said. 

Retaining the experienced Canberra trio is also a big plus and Jensen says they’ll know what they’re in for.

“We knew it was going to be in-and-under, tough sort of footy – and they weren’t wrong,” Jensen said.

“Coming from the NEAFL where it’s more outside, fast-paced sort of footy… it was sorer bodies after the trip home.”

He said the off-season activity is heartening, given injuries through the middle of last season exposed their lack of depth.

“We started off pretty well but it was a bit frustrating towards the middle and end of the season because we knew that with our best 22 we could be competitive,” he said.

Jensen also suggested the league may not have seen the best of forward Hespe yet.

Of the other Canberra travellers, Tim Shea won’t be back but Temora is very keen to hang on Kane Peeters, who they’ll meet with in coming days.

Wooden is hopeful of confirming another couple of signings in the next week to wrap up their recruiting.

Former president and recruitment committeeman, Darryl Harpley, said things are looking up.

“The club’s pretty excited to have all those guys come back. It’s great to see some of these premiership players coming back and having another crack here,” he said.

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