Former Fremantle midfielder Ryan Crowley will be pulling on the boots in the SWFL this season after he signed with the Collie Eagles this week.
The 34-year-old tagger retired from the AFL at the end of 2016 after playing 188 games for the Dockers and eight for Essendon. He also played 16 games for Swan Districts in the WAFL last year.
Collie Eagles president Ash Stewart said it was exciting for the club to have Crowley joining the club.
“It will be good to have a player of Ryan’s quality joining the club, especially for our players,” he said.
“Hopefully our younger blokes will be able to feed off him and learn a lot from him while he’s here.”
Collie Eagles league coach Seth White said he had heard Crowley, who had intended to take time away from football this year, was looking to play in the country.
“I’ve been in contact with him for a while, I think I first spoke to him in October,” he said.
“I’d heard he was looking to have a go in the country and luckily I knew some people who put me in touch with him.
“I gave him a call after the Derby [between West Coast and Fremantle on Sunday afternoon] and he had the bug and wanted to play, so here we are.”
White said the club would meet with Crowley soon to determine whether he also take over some formal coaching duties at the club.
“He brings heaps of experience and knowledge from playing at a high level,” he said.
“We’ll work out the coaching aspect when he gets here, but he’s been to bigger and better places than me, so he will be good for the young boys around the club.”
White said he wasn’t exactly sure whether Crowley would play this weekend in Busselton but with the Eagles’ extensive injury list, he would be pulling on the jumper sooner rather than later.
“We needed something extra with our injury list, which is getting long, and with [Joel] Houghton looking at some time on the sidelines, we thought we’d bring him in,” he said.
“I’m not sure if he will play this week, but we’re expecting he will definitely be ready for our next home game [against South Bunbury on May 20].”