Pickett backed by coach to have big impact in return to Terang Mortlake

TERANG Mortlake coach Matt Irving is confident ruck recruit Zac Pickett can have a major impact in his return to the club.

Irving this week confirmed Pickett and Michael Sargeant as the Bloods’ two major signings during the Hampden league off-season.

Pickett returns to the club after a stint with Russells Creek, where he played under Terang Mortlake premiership player Darren Little.

Sargeant spent 2013 in Western Australia. 

He last coached Old Collegians in 2011 and 2012 before heading interstate.

Irving, who is into his second tenure as Terang Mortlake coach, said the club had “four or five” more signings in the pipeline.

“Sarge, he’s had a terrific summer. He came home from Western Australia in November and hasn’t missed a training session,” he said.

“He’s pretty fit at the moment. 

‘‘We’re looking for a bit of leadership and experience from him.

“Zac has done the sessions before Christmas. 

‘‘For a big bloke, he hasn’t missed a beat.

“We’ve got a few new recruits training at the moment but whether or not they commit to us is a bit wait and see.”

Sargeant and Pickett join forwards Sam Moloney and Chris Bant as the Bloods’ high-profile recruits for season 2014.

As a collective, they give the club a key backman, dominant ruckman and two match-winning forwards.

Irving said Pickett would be the first-choice ruckman, with back-up coming from Jake Richardson, Ryan O’Connor and Justin Wallace.

Stephen Staunton can also expect more time at the stoppages with Bant and Moloney roaming the forward line.

“Zac has played a year in the District league but he’s still what we rate as a pretty good ruckman,” Irving said.

“He’s still got a few things to improve on but he hasn’t missed a beat so far.”

“He went to Russells Creek with Darren Little and for us it’s beneficial he spent a year with Darren and has come back really keen.

“I see Sarge at this stage of his career picking up a key tall, a ruckman sitting in the forward line.

“But he’s someone who can go forward and pinch a couple of goals from time to time.

“His best asset is he can play on a six-four bloke (193cm) but he can also play on a five-eight bloke (173cm).”

Irving said the club was also waiting to hear from graduating under 18 players as to whether they head to Melbourne for university.

“We’ve got a few down in Geelong and they’ve already committed to coming back next year,” he said.

“But there are a couple weighing up whether or not to go to Melbourne. If anyone leaves, they leave on good terms.”

Terang Mortlake will resume training next month. The Bloods play Portland at Hanlon Park in round one on April 5.


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