Former AFL speedster Farren Ray is the latest quality name to make their way to Melton South over the off-season.
Ray played 209 games with three clubs – Western Bulldogs (75), St Kilda (130) and North Melbourne (4).
The 31-year-old played his best football under coach Ross Lyon at the Saints. After coming to the club from a five-year stint at the Bulldogs where he did not quite live up to expectation as the number four draft pick in the 2003 AFL National Draft. He thrived at the Saints, finding his role in a team that made it to the 2010 grand final.
Melton South co-coach Sean Triplett worked with Ray during his time at the Bulldogs and is stoked to have him on board.
Triplett said Ray would not only add plenty on the field, but his leadership and teaching nature was already on show during his opening training sessions with some young Panthers.
Triplett said Ray would play off a wing and through the midfield.
Ray was not the only new signing. The return of former captain Matt Sullivan will also add to what is now a beefed up midfield.
Triplett said the former interleague player boasted elite skills and would be influential among the group.
The experienced pair further add to what has already been a fruitful recruiting season for the Panthers. Ray and Sullivan join former Brisbane Lion Mitch Golby, ex-Port Melbourne star Dale Houghton, the talented Reece Miles and Melton’s Dillon Sharp.
Triplett said the club had targeted classy midfielders and that’s what it had got.
“We needed midfielders with elite kicking and that’s what we targeted,” he said.
Triplett was rapt with how his list was shaping, again putting finals as the aim ahead of the Ballarat Football League season.
“We’re really pumped, the list is coming together beautifully.
“We thought that last year then we got some injuries, so you can never say you’re going to. But you’d hope so, we’re there to try and play finals.”