Respected former Riverina footballer, Jeremy Rowe, will be back in the Farrer League this year, returning to Marrar to see out his career at Langtry Oval.
Rowe has spent the past three years coaching Belconnen Magpies firstly in the North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) and then in the AFL Canberra competition.
His resume also includes a stint as a development coach at Port Adelaide Magpies in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL), following four seasons at West Adelaide.
Having left Wagga at 22, Rowe’s always had a return in mind and the Bombers felt like the right fit.
“Marrar have always been incredibly respectful to me and I loved my two years there (in 2005 and 2006),” Rowe said.
“Being able to coach brought back a love of footy for me then. And it started my interest in coaching, getting into a coaching gig nice and early and them rolling the dice on me at a young age.”
Rowe was kept to a handful of appearances with Belconnen last year due to injury but is confident he has something to offer.
“I don’t feel I’m on my last legs, I feel like I’ve got plenty to offer,” he said.
“I haven’t played a lot of footy the last couple of years but what’s kept me going is that I feel that when I’ve been on the field I have still been able to contribute.”
He believes the biggest change in the league in his decade away is the ability of clubs to attract players from outside the area.
And he’s looking forward to playing under new Bombers coach Shane Lenon, who declared Rowe’s recruitment a “late bonus” in their 2017 planning.
“We’re rapt to have him on board,” Lenon said.
“He’s had experience at a higher level and coaching experience at a higher level so it’ll be really positive to help with the development of our young blokes.”
“And he’ll be good for me to run things by… I’m looking forward to it and I’m sure I can learn something off ‘Rowey’.”
Rowe adds to a busy off-season for Marrar, where the new faces include Brad Moye (ex-Northern Jets), Geoff Spriggs (Collingullie-Glenfield Park) and Jesse Margosis, Shannon Williams, Jordan Matthews and Jackson Sanbrook (Lockhart).
“We’re happy with retentions, recruitments and the young talent coming through so we’re pretty happy with how the off-season has worked out,” Lenon said.
But the Bombers have lost a pair of reliable backmen in Jesse Cunningham and Bryce Graetz.
Graetz has moved to Newcastle while Cunningham is expecting to miss most of the season after he underwent surgery again on the wrist which interrupted his 2016 campaign. Marrar begin pre-season on Friday night.