James Keeble latest addition to rebuilding Sebastopol

James Keeble
James Keeble

Sebastopol’s re-build has taken another giant stride forward with the signing of James Keeble.

He is the fourth recruit straight off the disbanded North Ballarat Roosters’ list in the VFL.

Keeble joins Tony Lockyer, Matt Austin and Lachlan Cassidy in the Ballarat Football League club’s most aggressive recruiting campaign in more than a decade, including the appointment of former Roosters assistant coach Leigh Hutchinson as head coach.

The only major piece in the jigsaw which remains unresolved is the future of ex-Western Bulldogs player Brett Goodes.

Goodes, who has been with Sebastopol for two seasons, is yet to inform the club about his football plans for next year.

Sebastopol football department member Shawne Dummett said securing Keeble completed the major end of recruiting.

He said the high quality additions had created enormous enthusiasm within the club and across the football community.

Dummett said there had been a flow-on effect, with other players expressing interest in joining the club.

He said it was now up to everyone to ensure the bolstered player stocks achieved the success the Burra was striving for.

Keeble, who was with the Roosters for eight years, is not completely new to Sebastopol.

Originally from Boort in the North Central league, the key forward Keeble has the Burra as his home club for the past three seasons.

The decisions of Lockyer and Austin to play with Sebastopol had instrumental in getting Keeble across the line.

“Their good mates.”

Keeble, 26, said Sebastopol was not just attracting good players.

“They’re outstanding calibre people. Tony and Matt have been VFL captains. They’re sensational leaders.”

Keeble said while he would have liked to continue playing in the VFL, his lifestyle meant this was not possible.

He said he had employment and had a house with his partner in Ballarat, and travelling to meet the demands of playing with another VFL club was not viable.

Keeble said he was excited by the challenge at Sebastopol.

He said it was undoubtedly going to take a lot of hard work and he was ready to help the Burra climb off the bottom of the ladder. It had one win this year.

Keeble said this was not just about next year either.

He said this was about setting up the club for sustained success for many years.