Northern Jets sign Codan Frankel, Kody Whiley and Brad McKinnon and lock in Alex Rogers again

Alex Rogers has been locked in for another season with Northern Jets.
Alex Rogers has been locked in for another season with Northern Jets.

Two months out from the start of the Farrer League season, the Northern Jets have received a boost, with confirmation club best-and-fairest Alex Rogers will be back, and the announcement of three more signings.

The Jets will unleash two promising Northern Riverina League players on the Farrer League, including former Tullibigeal midfielder, Codan Frankel, who kicked 34 goals in 17 games last year, and was in their best seven times.

“He’s only early 20s but he’s played in four premierships out there,” Jets coach Mitch Robinson said. “He’s lightning fast, tough, and hard at it. He’s an on-baller/forward and I expect he’ll be pretty handy. You can’t coach speed into people.

“And Kody Whiley is another young bloke from Northern Riverina. He played in a flag at Ungarie a couple of years ago, and played in the the Northern Riverina rep side last year. He’s come for a few training sessions and I think he’ll probably slot into the backline somewhere.”

Former North Wagga tall Brad McKinnon has also joined the Jets from Young, in the Central West League, where he was coach and club best-and-fairest last year. 

“He’s a good size and he can play either end, so he’ll be a good utility for us,” Robinson said. “And a year coaching means he’ll bring that experience and a little bit more leadership, which will be valuable.”

The trio add to a fruitful off-season for the Jets, after bringing home Mick Foster, signing Matt Carroll (Coolamon) and securing Roland Finch and Josh Avis (West Wyalong), who have both impressed at training.

It’s also helped ensure the return of Rogers, who had headed home to the coast for the summer. 

“It’s fantastic, definitely a big relief,” Robinson said. “He was brilliant for us last year – he got our best-and-fairest and was fourth in the league b-and-f. He had a great year. He’s a quality player and if you lose him, it’s a big hole in our side.”

The coach is “super happy” with how they’re shaping up for the season.

“We’ve added some depth, which we needed,” he said. “We struggled with that last year. And we’ve added a fair bit of height, which we also lacked, with Matty Carroll, Brad McKinnon, Roland Finch, Mick Foster. We don’t want to stray too much from our game plan. It was winning us games. But we did lack height when we played bigger sides. We just couldn’t match up on them.”

The Jets have lost youngster Darcy McDermott (Barellan) while Robinson is almost certain to sit out the year after suffering a serious neck injury.

The Northern Jets will kick off their season at home to East Wagga-Kooringal, at Ariah Park on April 14.

They’ve scheduled two practice matches – away to Mulwala on March 18, and against Lockhart at Ardlethan on March 23. 

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