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VFL Cats boosted by big four

A recruiting strategy focused on attracting players with senior experience and leadership qualities has lead to the signing of four key players for the 2018 VFL season.

Former Geelong and Adelaide listed player Dean Gore, 2017 NEAFL MVP Jordan Keras, ex-Adelaide Crow Sam Siggins and former North Ballarat captain Luke Kiel have all joined the VFL Cats for 2018.

Gore, who was drafted by the Cats in the 2014 draft, was traded to the Crows in a package for Patrick Dangerfield at the end of 2015, but the Cats had no hesitation recruiting back the popular midfielder after he was delisted by the Crows.

O’Bree said the Cats were thrilled to have Gore back.

“We are very excited to get Gorey back to the club after he made such a good impression in 2015.” O’Bree said. 

The Cats leadership will receive a huge boost with the signing of Kiel who captained the North Ballarat Roosters in the VFL competition for the past two seasons.

“Once the decision was made that North Ballarat wouldn’t be part of the VFL competition in 2018, we identified Luke as a priority and were very happy that he has landed at the Cats.” O’Bree said.

Keras nominated for the AFL draft on the back of a superior season in the NEAFL in 2017 but was overlooked.

Siggins, has been a dominant key position player for Clarence in the Tasmanian Football League after finishing up with the Crows in 2015.

The Cats VFL squad has begun their 2018 preseason with further squad announcements to come.

Jordan Keras:

Height: 181cm, Weight: 83cm, Age: 23.0

Former South Barwon junior Jordan Keras graduated from the Geelong Falcons program in 2011 and spent time at VFL level with both Werribee (2012) and Footscray (2015). 

After an eventful 4 years which saw Keras play 13 VFL games, undergo a knee reconstruction and become a GFL premiership player with St Joseph’s, Keras then moved to Queensland to further his studies and play with NEAFL club Southport. Keras quickly emerged as one of the NEAFL competition’s leading players and finished runner up in the 2016 Southport best & fairest. 

Keras then took his game to another level in 2017, winning the Southport best and fairest, playing a significant role in the NEAFL representative teams victory over Tasmania and being named the rover in the 2017 NEAFL Team of the Year. He then capped off his stunning season by winning the 2017 NEAFL MVP.

Keras played all 18 games and averaged a remarkable 35 disposals (16 contested), 9 clearances, 7 tackles and 5 marks. 

Sam Siggins:

Height: 196, Weight: 93, Age: 23

Sam Siggins was originally drafted to the Adelaide Crows from the Tassie Mariners with pick 62 in the 2012 National Draft. Siggins then spent 3 seasons playing his trade with the Crows before returning to Tasmania in 2015. 

The versatile big man is capable of playing as a key position player at both ends of the ground and in the ruck if required. 

A dominant season with TSL club Clarence last year, saw him finish runner up in the Alastair Lynch League Medal and named in the TSL Team of the Year.


Dean Gore:

Height: 183, Weight: 83, Age: 21

Dean Gore was originally recruited to the Geelong Cats from Sturt Football Club with pick 55 in the 2014 National Draft and then traded to Adelaide in the 2015 Trade Period as part of the trade that saw Patrick Dangerfield arrive at the Cattery. 

The athletic and skilful South Australian, who has the versatility to play a number of roles, finished third in the Geelong VFL best and fairest in 2015 despite being limited to 11 games because of a shoulder injury.

Gore enjoyed a fine season at SANFL level in 2016, playing 21 matches, averaging 18 disposals a game, ranking second in the side for tackles (90), and third for clearances (67), inside 50ms (53) and marks (97). 


Luke Kiel: 

Height: 181, Weight: 81, Age: 27

After captaining the North Ballarat Roosters for the past 2 seasons, Luke Kiel brings outstanding leadership qualities to the Cats VFL program. Kiel, a VFL state representative, played 83 games with the Roosters over a six year period and won two club best and fairest awards.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs