REIGNING premier Warrnambool has bolstered its key position stocks by signing Bellarine interleague representative Peter Corredig.
The Ocean Grove captain is moving to Warrnambool to complete his medical degree at the city’s Deakin University campus over the next two years.
The tall, athletic Corredig is a big boost for the Blues, who next week begin pre-season training, 57 days after they won the Hampden Football Netball League grand final by 37 points.
Blues coach Scott Carter said the club was pleased to sign Corredig, a Bellarine interleague representative who was part of the side that thumped the Western Border league by 20 goals this year.
“He’s a six foot five (196cm), versatile, key position player who can play centre half-back, centre half-forward and ruck,” he said.
“He will add versatility to our key position ranks.
“We are very happy with the signing but obviously Peter is stepping up a grade.”
A Bellarine league source described Corredig as ready-made for the Hampden league.
“He would walk straight into the Hampden league, no dramas,” the source said.
“He’s a really good size, really mobile.”
Carter said Corredig would join the club early in the new year.
“He’s very excited to be joining a club that has had a pretty successful record in the past few years. And we are very excited to have him,” he said.
“I think big blokes like him in the HFL are pretty rare.”
His signing comes as the Blues revealed star full-forward Jason Rowan, fresh from his third century of goals this season, had re-signed for a further two years with an option of a third.
Rowan, who kicked 102 goals in the home-and-away season despite battling leg problems for the last month and into the finals, is the club’s record-holder. At 26, he has kicked more than 600 goals.
By the end of his contract, he could be challenging Tony Russell’s league record of 1020 goals.
The Blues will be without dual premiership captain Dustin McCorkell, who has retired after a decorated career with the club.
McCorkell expects to remain with the Blues in an unofficial coaching role.
The Blues have finalised their coaching structure for 2013, with premiership assistant coach Mark Inia adding the reserves coaching job to his responsibilities. Carter said Inia would have a key role, working with a crop of young players stepping into open ranks.
The Blues appointed this season’s reserves coach Nathan Isles as under 18 coach.
He takes over from Damien Sell, who coached the Blues to the 2011 premiership and runners-up this year.
Carter paid tribute to Sell, saying he had played a criticial role in the development of several teenagers who played seniors this year, including six in the premiership.
“The way the competition is these days, the under 18 coach is tremendously important to your club,” he said.
“The days of recruiting five or six good players from outside are gone.”