FORMER Sydney Swans rookie Jake Brown will complete a full circle when he returns to Langtry Oval to play at Marrar next season.
The Bombers have begun the off-season in the best possible fashion by signing Brown and UNSW-Eastern Suburbs premiership-winning teammate Lachlan O'Callaghan for next season.
Brown began Auskick at Marrar 20 years ago and the desire to return to where it all kicked off and play alongside some close family friends led him to the Bombers.
O'Callaghan, a Leeton-Whitton junior, will reunite with his brother Josh at Marrar. He played a reserve grade game for the Bombers this year, which lit the fire inside around a return to country football.
Brown, who will join Marrar as a marquee recruit, spent the 2018 season on Sydney's list and also played 10 games for the Swans' VFL team this year.
Marrar coach Cal Gardner is thrilled to kick off the Bombers' recruitment drive with two quality recruits.
"It's great to get on the front foot nice and early. We were able to stitch retention up pretty early in the season, which means we were able to identify where we need to recruit and get on the front foot. So it's good to land these two boys nice and early," Gardner said.
"They bring plenty of experience, particularly with Jake having VFL experience. He'll bring some leadership with him and how he goes about his footy. It's always good to bring in some fresh faces as well.
"They've both got a good connection to the club. Jake played Auskick at Marrar so it's pretty cool that you've got an Auskicker returning to play.
"He's been family friends with the Jenkins for quite a while and I know both Jed and Fletch have both wanted to play with him for a while so that can finally happen for those boys, which is exciting.
"In terms of Gus (O'Callaghan), his brother Josh plays for us, his family's down here as well so he's looking to hopefully come down during the week a bit and train with us on Thursdays because he has the ability to work from home so he'll be able to spend some time with family as well."
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Brown has been in talks with Marrar for a few years now and decided the time was right to give it a go.
"I'm very excited, it will be good fun," Brown said.
"I've been asked for a couple of years now and I'm really excited to come down and have a run around with Jeddy and Fletch (Jenkins) and the boys.
"The Jenkins are very close family friends. I did Auskick with Marrar way back when with Jeddy, we'd go to Marrar footy most weekends so I'm looking forward to getting back.
"It will be a bit of a freshen up. Going back to country footy, it will be something different and a change of scenery will be good."
The 25-year-old has won three premierships with UNSW-Eastern Suburbs (2019, 2022 and 2023) as well as spending time with the Swans' VFL program, where he's predominantly been used across half-back and on a wing.
With Marrar planning on using both recruits through the midfield, Brown is looking forward to a change in his footy.
"It's a very different type of footy (in the VFL). You play your role in sides like that, you don't need to do anything out of the ordinary," Brown explained.
"If you're a defender, it depends on what kind of player you're playing on, I was playing a bit taller all year so it was more as a key defender locking down and then you come back and play local footy where you would push through midfield, wing, half-back and that's where you can do your own thing a little bit and start to play your style of football I guess.
"When you're playing at those higher levels, it's more about doing what the team needs you to do to get by.
"It's been a few years since I've played on-ball so it will be good fun to get back in there. It will be good to go back on-ball and good to come down with Gussie (O'Callaghan). Driving down with someone, it will make that part easier as well.
"We've won a couple of flags together now so hopefully we can make it another one."
O'Callaghan, 28, has been at UNSW-Eastern Suburbs since 2015 and has played 71 games at premier division level, including the club's last two premierships.
He also kicked 35 goals from 31 first grade appearances as a teenager at Leeton-Whitton.
O'Callaghan got the three league votes in his sole reserve grade appearance for Marrar this season, when there on a bye in AFL Sydney.
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