Ex-AFL players return to grassroots footy

The Basin Football Club are welcoming ex-AFL player Joel Perry to the side. 372537_04

By Tanya Faulkner

Knox football clubs are bringing high-level recruits back to grassroots football, stepping it up as they prepare for the 2024 season.

The Basin Football club are reaching to the top of the pile, bringing on ex-AFL player Joel Perry to the field in the upcoming season.

Perry, who was listed with the North Melbourne Kangaroos back in 2002, had a short-lived professional career with the club.

The forward made his official debut as an ‘emergency’ in 2005, however was soon dropped from the club in 2006.

Perry, originally from Upper Ferntree Gully, has continued to shine on the field since his time with the Kangaroos, playing a stellar season for Powelltown, according to The Basin’s division 2 head coach Jason Wade. .

“Perry kicked 77 goals in just 15 games last year,” he said.

The Basin Football Club are looking forward to Perry joining the squad, alongside a number of new recruits, brought on by its newly employed Football Operations member Michael Cardamone.

“Perry is now in his late thirties, but he’s still really fit and should provide a really good target for the club.

“Cardamone is not only doing our player recruiting, he is also playing for the club this season,” he said.

Wade said the Basin Football Club has big goals for the 2024 season, having finished 8th on the ladder in the 2023 season.

“Last year we were a very young team, with only a few blokes over the age of 23.

“We have recruited half a dozen blokes who are 26 and older with a bit of experience, including Perry, and we like to think our team will be able to push to play finals.

“Once we can make the finals, who knows from there!” he said.

Wade said the club’s division 2 team for this years’ season managed to secure five wins, playing some quite competitive games for the young squad, and featured several debuts.

“We debuted around 14 kids, most of whom played in the U19 flag team for 2022.

“We needed the experience and bigger bodies to be more competitive next season,” he said.

Perry will join several new recruits to The Basin Football Team in the upcoming football season.