JUST weeks after losing more than 300 games of NRL experience from their club with legend Michael Cronin hanging up the clipboard, the Gerringong Lions have added another former star to its playing roster for the 2021 Group Seven season.
Former South Sydney and St George Illawarra outside back Dylan Farrell, after three years captain/coaching the Nowra-Bomaderry Jets, has decided to join the Lions, as Scott Stewart's side attempt to defend their 2020 premiership.
Farrell, who played for the Lions at an under 16s level, becomes another key addition to Scott Stewart's squad, following the recruitment of Aaron Grigg and return of Toby Gumley-Quine, Lloyd Bowen, Alec Brookes and Adam Thomson.
"While we've lost some real quality talent, we've been lucky enough to add a handful of proven first graders to fill in those holes in our squad," Stewart said.
"In terms of Dylan, we're just expecting him to come in and play his role.
"I believe that is one of the main reasons he's joined our club, where he doesn't have to worry about that added responsibility of running the show, rather just playing footy and enjoying himself.
"He's obviously strong at running the football, so we're going to give him plenty of opportunities to succeed this season, which is what he deserves because he hasn't missed a beat since he started training with us.
"His experience at an NRL level is invaluable and he's been giving pointers to a lot of those younger edge players.
"It's really exciting he's joined the club - he's obviously been one of the leading players in the group the past few seasons and we hope he can continue that in 2021."
As shown over the past three seasons with the Jets and his recent performances with the Illawarra South Coast Dragons, the 29-year-old is versatile enough to play as a middle forward, on an edge or even in the halves, potentially alongside five-time premiership winner Rixon Russell.
"Dyl's shown his ability to play the entire game, in a variety of positions, for the representative team - so we're confident he'll be fit enough to excel in whatever role we play him," Stewart said.
"He's one of those players that just knows his way around the footy field, which will be a massive help for us this season.
"Obviously the guys that played in last year's grand final winning side will get the first bite of the cherry at their position but we'll definitely find a spot for Dyl come round two when we play Warilla.
"It might take a few weeks to see where everyone, including Dyl, fits best but I'm sure we'll make it work."
Gerringong have the bye in round one, with Berry-Shoalhaven Heads withdrawing from first grade, before starting their premiership defence against the Gorillas at Cec Glenholmes Oval, in a rematch of last year's decider.
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