Two premiership players return to North City

North Ballarat City premiership players Marcus Darmody and Keenan George have returned to the fold.

FAMILIAR FACE: Marcus Darmody back playing in the BFL.

FAMILIAR FACE: Marcus Darmody back playing in the BFL.

Darmody is back with City after two seasons and two flags with Koroit in the Hampden Football League, while George spent this year with Cairns Saints in Northern Queensland.

George was part of back-to-back Ballarat Football League premierships in 2013-14.

Darmody played in the 2014 grand final-winning line-up with North Ballarat City.

City has also announced the signing of Sam Scally from AFL Cairns premier Port Douglas Crocs, where he was a teammate of former Sunbury onballer Matthew Medcraft.

Darmody had two seasons with North Ballarat City after playing with North Ballarat Rebels in the TAC Cup under-18s and North Ballarat Roosters in the VFL.

He chose to move to Koroit for the opportunity to play with his brother Michael and became a key contributor up forward in two premierships.

Darmody was better known as a defender earlier in his career, but returns fresh from kicking 70 goals last season, which placed him second on the HFL goalkicking table.

The 26-year-old, who has remained based in Ballarat with his employment and continued to train with North Ballarat City while playing in the HFL, said he had originally intended to play just the one year with Koroit.

However, when his brother missed the 2016 premiership side he decided to play one more season.

Fortunately the brothers lined up side-by-side in this year’s premiership team.

Marcus Darmody said with this objective achieved the way had been paved for him to return to North Ballarat City.

He said he was looking forward to not having to deal with the weekly travel.

From a team structure point of view, Darmody’s arrival is ideal after the departure of former coach and key position player Jordyn Burke.

Like Darmody, George’s return will provide experience to a list which will again feature a strong blend of youth under the guidance experienced new mentor Shane Skontra.

Darmody said he believed North City was well placed to build on this year and hopefully work its way into the top bracket of teams.

Skontra said it was always pleasing to get past players back.

 Keenan George

Keenan George

He said each would provide experience and leadership to the player group.

Skontra said player retention had been a high priority for the club and he was satisfied with the retention rate with losses kept to a minimum.

Other than Burke, Matt Johnston (East Point) and Marty Curtis (Portland Westerns) are the main losses.

Tyler George (Springbank) is returning to North, while it has also signed Tim Speirs (South Colac) after spending a year on the Roosters’ VFL list.

North Ballarat City scraped into the finals this year with six wins after a terrible first half to the season, which produced just the one win.

City will have an earlier start to the BFL season than most, meeting Sebastopol in a standalone marquee match at Marty Reserve on Saturday, April 14.