Recruiting coup: Panthers sign Hermann

Brendan Hermann will be a Panther in 2024. 277792 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS.

By Jonty Ralphsmith

Mornington Peninsula Football Netball League (MPFNL) Division 2 club Devon Meadows has signed West Gippsland Football Netball Competition (WGFNC) star Brendan Hermann.

The Panthers confirmed that Hermann put pen to paper on Friday night after a storied career with Nar Nar Goon.

Hermann played the first seven games of 2023 for Nar Nar Goon, named in the best four times, absent for the rest of the season due to injury.

The on-baller has won four best-and-fairests in a career spanning more than 150 senior games.

Coach Ryan Hendy said Hermann would add class to an already star-studded midfield.

Former AFL player Dean Kent, star former Narre premiership captain Trent Cody, and star play-makers Joel Hillis and Nick Battle will be among the players battling with Hermann for time in the Panthers’ engine room.

They are expected to be fed by Patrick Ryder who had surgery in the off-season to have him ready to spend more time in the ruck in 2024 after kicking 43 goals as a key forward in 10 games in 2023.

“We were after a fair bit of leg-speed which is obviously what ‘Baz’ has and he’s really good overhead,” Hendy said.

“We got beaten with our leg-speed (in the preliminary final) against Mornington.

“Playing in finals series, you need leg-speed so hopefully it gels together.

“He’s played really consistent footy for a lot of years and we thought he would be a perfect fit for us.”

Hermann is a spiritual leader and former skipper of Nar Nar Goon, his leadership adding to co-captains Nick Battle and Dean Kent, while Patrick Ryder, Joel Hillis and Jayden Sullivan are also important in that space.

Hermann’s signature comes after Mordialloc pair Jack Bailey and Dylan Gregson and Hampton Park’s Jack Wilson were already added to the 2024 list, the club indicating that would bring an end to its recruiting.

Jamie Plumridge (Keysborough) is the only departure from Devon Meadows’ best lineup in 2023.

“We feel we’ve covered all bases,” Hendy said of the list.

“We recruited strategically, we only wanted to get players who would fill holes.

The feeling’s really good, everyone’s chomping at the bit to get back after what happened last season.”