New boys on the block

New recruits to the senior side include: (from left) Ben Dawson, Jason Gofton, Kahlan Williams, Bhodi Johnston, Tyrone Morrison, Woody French and Taygen Dennison. Picture: Bodey Dittloff.

Team. The Van Diemen’s Land Smithton Saints’ recruitment search kicked into overdrive at the end of the 2013 season having lost key forward Damien Medwin, and this is the overwhelming result.

Tyrone Morrison, Ben Dawson, Jason Gofton, Kahlan Williams, Woody French, Taygen Dennison and Bhodi Johnston join a relatively unchanged side from last season – a squad which has senior coach Jarrod Watling “excited” for the year ahead.

Twenty-five-year-old Morrison, who returns to the Saints having spent a year with State League side Burnie Dockers, said an important part of his decision was to link up with brother Rhys adding to several family pairings within the side.

“This is easily going to be the best Smithton team I’ve played in,” he said. “All the young blokes who were up-and-coming, they are coming of age now.”

Morrison stands at a towering 199 centimetres tall and has previously played in the ruck for the Saints, but more recently prefers playing as a centre-half forward “leading up the ground and being a target” for others.

Eighteen-year-old Johnston has followed a similar path as Morrison returning to the Saints from Burnie, and while he still remains eligible for the U/19 side, the 194-centimetre tall utility is keen to impress and maintain a spot into the senior squad.

“Personally, I’d like to push myself into the seniors from round one,” he said.

“I feel there’s a good buzz about the group, everyone here’s been really welcoming.”

Ins: B Dawson (U/19), T Dennison (U/19), W French (Yeoman), J Gofton (Irishtown), B Johnston (Burnie), T Morrison (Burnie), K Williams (Burnie)

Outs: N Bransden (Redpa), J Grace (Launceston), D Medwin (Northern Bombers)

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