White steps in to fill void at Panmure

FORMER Hampden interleague representative Tom White will help fill the void left by century goalkicker Chris Bant at Panmure.

The Warrnambool and District league Bulldogs this week confirmed the signing of White, a 186-centimetre forward, for season 2014.

White, 29, played juniors at South Warrnambool and spent a couple of seasons as an assistant coach at Port Fairy before heading to Melbourne.

He won a premiership with Essendon and District league club Oak Park in 2009 and has spent the past two years living in England.

White said he returned to the south-west in reasonable shape and ready to have an impact for the Simon O’Keefe-coached Bulldogs.

“I had a job where I was pretty active. I was doing a bit of courier work and manual labour. Most of the days it wasn’t too bad,” he said.

“If you’re willing enough to do fitness over there you can keep it ticking away OK.

“And two years away from footy has helped me. I had some injury problems in the last year in Melbourne.”

White said he joined Panmure because of family and friends. His wife grew up in the area and he is mates with Dan Meade and Shaun Griffin.

He provides the Bulldogs with a new forward option following the departure of match-winning goalkicker Bant to Terang Mortlake.

Gary Robinson and Daniel Roache are also key targets inside the forward 50 while ruckman James Keane can drift forward if required.

White said he was impressed with what he knew of O’Keefe. The pair played against each other during their Hampden league days.

“(His philosophy) has come from the Hampden league. He’s had some pretty good coaches here and from going to Perth,” he said.

“It looks like he’s trying to bring in the way they move the footy.

“There was a bit of a difference between the Hampden league and District league when I left but it looks like it’s narrowed a bit.”

afawkes@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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