SOUTH Warrnambool hopes James Hussey’s return will spark an influx of former Roosters rejoining the Hampden league club.
Roosters president Jock O’Connor and coach Mathew Buck believe the VFL-listed midfielder’s signing could encourage other former players to return to Friendly Societies’ Park.
Hussey will add experience to South Warrnambool, having played 22 senior games for Werribee over the past two seasons.
O’Connor said the Roosters were rapt to welcome a player of Hussey’s calibre for the 2017 season.
“Hopefully it’s the start of a group of our players coming back to us,” he said.
“We are working on others – hopefully he’ll be the start of a bit of a bandwagon.
“We have an active recruiting committee. Mick Struth is heading that up and he is very enthusiastic.”
Buck, preparing for his second season at the helm, said Hussey’s signing was a tick for the club’s reputation.
“I am trying to create an environment that people want to come back to,” he said.
“James is the first one to do that and hopefully other South people see it as a place to be.”
O’Connor said Hussey was a tough midfielder who would complement captain Nick Thompson.
“James is a really solid performer – tough and strong – and has played a good level of footy at Werribee,” he said.
“He’s pretty fearless. A real leader with too much courage for his own good.”
Hussey missed out on the Roosters’ 2011 flag – something O’Connor said was driving him.
“He played VFL in 2011 and missed the flag and came back the next year and we didn’t win it,” O’Connor said.
“He has fire in the belly I think.”
Buck said Hussey, 25, would be an invaluable inclusion who would help the Roosters’ younger players.
“He’s a quality player and a quality person and is the right age for our group as well,” he said.
“We’re looking to fill a few people in that age group.”