Crucial Magpie locked in for 2017

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

After a brilliant debut season with Denmark-Walpole last year, former West Perth big man Shayne Zanetti is a confirmed starter for the Magpies this season as they aim to bounce back after missing out on the finals last year.

With little news coming out of the Magpies camp during the off-season, coach Matt Candy — who will again take charge of the league side — has confirmed the major announcement of Zanetti for a second season.

The tall utility was a dominant force for the Magpies last season, playing all 15 games in which he kicked 44 goals and polled 15 votes to finish second behind Matt Smith in the Kleemann Medal count.

Candy confirmed that re-signing Zanetti, who has played 30 league games at WAFL level, was a major focus in the off-season.

“Zanetti is in, he’s really keen and wants to come back,” Candy said.

“Absolutely, it was priority one.

“Obviously he finished up there in the Kleemann count and is a good one to keep around; he gives us a strong target and also is good in the ruck.”

Kaden King-Davies and Jesse D’Sylva were also also confirmed as travelling players by Candy for the upcoming season.

The Magpies have also secured Railways premiership players Hendrix and Paris Rophia, while midfielder Ryan Gaerth, who has played 17 league games for Claremont, is another inclusion.

“We are looking all right at the moment,” Candy said.

“Ryan Gaerth has moved to town and I’m very happy to have the Rophia boys, but it will be a bit of a changed side this year.”

Those gains will have to cover for the loss of several key players, including last year’s captain Lee Gropp, who will not play in 2017, along with Tyler Stone and Sam Finigan.

Dionne Woods, Ash Smith, Jake Stewart, Edward Roocke, Zac Davies and Aaron Croot have all left the Magpies, while youngster Josh Devitt-Boyd is playing colts for Claremont.

Candy said the club was in good shape as they prepared for a big round 1 clash against Mt Barker on April 22, with Glen Burton re-appointed as club president late last year.

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