Terang Mortlake signs former AFL player Jordie McKenzie for season 2018

TOUGH MID: Terang Mortlake recruit Jordie McKenzie, pictured bursting out of a pack when playing for Melbourne in 2012, has returned to the club he played his junior footy at. Picture: The Age
TOUGH MID: Terang Mortlake recruit Jordie McKenzie, pictured bursting out of a pack when playing for Melbourne in 2012, has returned to the club he played his junior footy at. Picture: The Age

TERANG Mortlake has another big tick for its recruiting after luring ex-AFL player Jordie McKenzie back home.

The club announced on Wednesday night that it had secured the services of the 27-year-old for season 2018.

Bloods coach Michael Sargeant said McKenzie, who will re-join brother Tom at the club, was a big coup for a team striving for a return to finals.

“When we recruit people, we recruit character and playing ability, and he ticks both those boxes,” Sargeant said.

“He’s on top of his game – he was a South Australian rep last year … (but) just his general knowledge (is an asset), and he’s a really top fella.

“You just look at every club he’s been to: he’s always been the best clubman or won the coach’s award.”

Sargeant said McKenzie had always been willing to help out players at the club where he could, but having his permanent presence would be a huge benefit, especially for the young players coming through.

They will glean knowledge from a player who has gone through the AFL system with Melbourne, its VFL affiliate Casey, and also the SANFL.

McKenzie joined North Adelaide in 2016 after his career wound up at Melbourne and won the Roosters’ club best and fairest award the same year.

The Bloods’ 2008 premiership player is Terang Mortlake’s second big signing for 2018, with the club announcing in July Stephen Staunton would return after two years overseas.

Sargeant had earmarked the Bloods would look to recruit a big-bodied midfielder, and McKenzie fits the bill perfectly.