Nowell ends two-year football exile, switching from Dogs to Cats

ALLANSFORD recruit Justin Nowell is ready to reignite his football career after a two-year break.

The former Dennington key forward has committed to the Cats for the 2014 Warrnambool and District league season.

Nowell, 27, is expected to complement another key signing — Koroit forward Brad Williams — in a new-look Cats’ attack as they push for another finals tilt.

Darren Kelly, who kicked 22 goals in 2013, is also expected to spend more time forward following the return of ruckman Ben Lenehan.

Nowell stepped away from football after a knee injury wrecked his 2011 season.

He had kicked 27 goals in six games before he tore his medial ligament.

“I decided to have a year off and enjoyed it and had two years off,” Nowell said.

But the Grassmere father-of-two said he was hungry and ready to kick-start his career.

“My mate (Ben Lenehan) is back from WA and we always wanted to have a run together so I am pulling the boots on and having another go,” Nowell said.

“I am keen and ready to go.”

Nowell said he was happy to play whatever role coach Josh Parkinson thought would best suit the team.

He kicked 68 goals in 2009 and 88 goals in 2010 in his last two full seasons at Dennington. 

“At this stage his aim for me is to kick goals from full-forward,” Nowell said.

“If he wants me to go up, I’ll go up.

“We have a few recruits this year and Ben is back so we will be solid in the centre.

“He’s a bloke who doesn’t give up and has plenty of mongrel.”

Nowell, who played in an under 18 flag with South Warrnambool before joining Dennington, said he was excited about his new football challenge.

He hopes to bring some finals experience to the Cats’ line-up.

“Hopefully I will bring a bit of Dennington-style football to Allansford, hard at the ball,” he said.

“I have played in a lot of grand finals and a lot of Allansford people wouldn’t have.

“Hopefully we get to the grand final next year for a start.”

Parkinson said Nowell was a welcome addition.

“It’s exciting news for us,” he said.

“He’s come back fresh. He had a medial injury a couple of years ago but it’s healed up.

“He’s really good mates with Ben Lenehan who has also signed with the club.

“He’ll definitely play at full-forward and he’s quite versatile with his size and strength.”

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