New Rockbank recruit Shane Bonney is looking forward to making the move to Victoria for the next step of his football career.
Bonney, who grew up in Western Australia and has played his football there, is the Rams’ first recruit for next year’s Riddell District Football League season.
The 27-year-old comes across after playing with Brigades in the Great Northern Football League this season.
Brigades made the grand final, but Bonney missed the game through injury.
Before that, he spent four years at Western Australian Football League clubs East Fremantle and West Perth, playing in the reserves.
Bonney said he was excited about the move to Rockbank.
“I’ve always wanted to move interstate to play football,” he said.
“I decided to take up the offer … I’ve always wanted to play in Melbourne.”
Bonney got in touch with Rockbank through a recruiting website for footballers and was happy with what Rams’ coach Lachie Waterman said about the club.
The two both spent time at East Fremantle Football Club, Waterman as a coach and Bonney as a player, but were at the club at different times.
Bonney said because he was coming from the country, he thought he would fit in well at Rockbank.
He expects to play in the midfield and add some experience to the young Rockbank
“Lachie wants me to be a leader,” he said. “I’m happy to set an example. I captained my club when I was 21 before I went down to the WAFL.”
Bonney said he was hoping to be in Victoria some time next month.
Waterman said he was excited by what Bonney could bring to the side.
“Shane is a quality person – a huge coup for the club,” he said.
“He will add some run and drive and experience to our young group.”
The signing is a big step for Waterman, who was appointed as the Rams’ coach last month.
Waterman said after his appointment that he knew the challenges that lay ahead of him, with Rockbank finishing bottom this year with just one win.
“It’s a big challenge and not many get the opportunity to coach in the centenary year,” he said when appointed.
“It’s a clean slate, which is good. We’re looking to be super competitive and don’t want to get belted every week.
“I’m under no illusions that there’s a lot of hard work to go.”
Among the players who have re-signed for the Rams are Jordan and Mitchell Baumgartner, Tom Mainey, Brandon McGee, Jake Mallia and Jamie Austin,
Braedon Billing, Harley and Ricky Cameron, Brayden Dixon, Alan and Thomas Greenwood, and Stuart and Samuel Lowe have left the club.