AFTER returning to the dairy farm in Nalangil, Joe Dare wanted to play footy at a club with a family feel, with Cobden the ideal fit.
The 20-year-old will this year pull on the Bombers guernsey, following in the footsteps of his older brother, 2010 joint Maskell medallist Levi.
That family connection has led Joe to Cobden after spending two seasons as a rookie at Carlton, before being delisted last year without a senior AFL game to his name.
While North Ballarat Roosters ruckman Levi will still be a Cobden-listed player, younger brother and Geelong Falcons hopeful Lincoln has also crossed to the Bombers from Colac and District league club South Colac.
Joe said he was excited about starting a new chapter in his football career.
“I’m really looking forward to playing for the Cobden footy club and hopefully by the end of the year, I’ll be able to play with my brothers,” he told The Standard.
“I was really keen to get back and be on the farm.
“That’s my main priority.
“Playing for the Cobden footy club will really work in well with that.”
Dare has played for Carlton’s VFL affiliate Northern Bullants the past two seasons.
New Bombers coach Wayne Robertson was naturally pleased to welcome the 188-centimetre defender to the club.
“We’re rapt to have him on board,” he said.
“He’s had a history with the club for a couple of years.
“He’s come to watch whenever he’s had the chance, so he knows what the club’s about and he knows a few of the boys here.”
Robertson hoped that Joe, the 2009 Geelong Falcons best and fairest winner and the Bullants’ best finals player last season, would become a long-term player for the Bombers. “We just want him to embrace the footy club and enjoy his footy,” he said.
“With that enjoyment comes good footy.
“He’s only 20 years old, so we don’t want to put too much pressure on him.”
Robertson said the Bombers were looking forward to helping with the development of 17-year-old Lincoln and they hoped the teenager would earn selection in the 2012 Geelong Falcons squad.
Cobden resumes pre-season training on January 31.