Former Robe skipper returns

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Former Robe skipper returns

The Robe Football Club has welcomed back ex-skipper Tom Williams as it looks to climb the premiership ladder in 2024.

Williams was appointed captain of the Roosters at the beginning of 2022 but his on-field leadership role ended due to injury after a handful of games.

He played with his home club of Penola last season but has opted to return to the seaside where he lives and works as a tradesman.

Reappointed Robe coach Nathan Brown has been overseeing twice-weekly training sessions since October.

He has scheduled three trial games ahead of the start of the Mid South East home-and-away season against Tantanoola at Tigerland on April 13.

The Roosters will play Border Districts for the second consecutive summer and have also booked a game against the Casterton Cats.

The main off-season hit-out is the traditional grudge match against Kingston for the coveted Smith/Wilks Trophy.

This has been contested for around 20 years and honours the memory of late Kingston Football Club president Cyril Wilks and late Robe premiership coach and triple Mail Medallist Kym Smith.

The home team prevailed at Kingston’s Gall Park a year ago and gave new KNTFL Saints coach Sean Jackson his first taste of success.

As well as the three trials, most of the Robe senior list also took part in the second annual Robe long-distance run staged by the Adelaide Runners Club.

Away from the Mid SE, Robe supporters have two reasons to watch the elite AFL competition closely.

There are few country clubs that can boast they have bred two current AFL players and that is Robe’s proud record.

The fact that Adelaide Crows skipper Jordan Dawson hails from Robe is well-known.

The Roosters will also be keeping an eye on their ex-junior Connor Budarick who has played 28 games with the Gold Coast Suns since his debut in 2020.

The Suns Academy graduate has had his last two seasons disrupted with separate knee injuries.

However, Budarick managed to return for two games late in 2023.

The 22-year-old is contracted at the Suns until the end of 2025

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