FORMER Geelong Cats footballer James Parsons will make his presence felt at Geelong Football League club South Barwon, aligning with the club.
Parson will continue playing in the East Coast state league, a newly-implemented competition combining the Victorian Football League with the east coast second tier, with Carlton, but may have opportunities to play some matches in the GFL.
South Barwon coach Dave Farrell said having Parsons’ knowledge and work ethic around the group on the training track was a huge bonus.
“It adds another dimension,” Farrell said.
“Because he’s so current and he’s a local, a lot of our boys are Geelong fanatics… anyone that’s spent time in that Geelong midfield has to be pretty special.
“He’s come in with a really good reputation, he works really hard and I think our boys will pick up on the correlation between working hard and playing well.
“There’s no great expectation on him, I’m excited to see how he goes about it and learn from it.
“I can see how driven he is to make an impression when he’s at Carlton, he’ll lead by example (on the track).”
South Barwon finished ninth on the GFL ladder in 2019, winning nine of its 18 games. Farrell said after a year without football, the main focus was around enjoying being back out there.
“We’ve got really basic expectations at the moment… the main thing that we’re driving is enjoyment, following the year we’ve had.
“If our players around the club are happy then it gives us the best chance of being successful.”
Parsons’ potential to play in the GFL will be dependent on his availability in conjunction with his Carlton commitments.
Parsons played 35 games for the Cats at AFL level after being drafted in the 2016 rookie draft. Playing in the forward line and through the middle, the 23-year-old was delisted at the end of last season.