Midfield star joins Grove

David Stretton makes a handball for Avondale Heights in the Essendon District Football League. Picture: (Ewan McCrae, Star Weekly

By Mark Heenan

Former VFL Williamstown player David Stretton has joined Ocean Grove as a major recruit for the 2020 season.

Stretton, who most recently played 53 games with Shepparton Bears in the Goulburn Valley  League from 2017 to 2019, is also understood to have a family holiday home in the Ocean Grove region.

In 2006, Stretton won the A. Todd Medal, which is awarded to the fairest and best player in the VFL Reserve Grade competition.

New Ocean Grove Football Club senior coach Pete Davey said Stretton was a welcome addition to the Grubbers’ midfield next season.

The recruiting coup comes after star ruckman Andrew Jarvis re-joined the Grubbers in 2020 after a year playing GFL at South Barwon.

“He’s (Stretton) played state level footy, so his experience will be enormous for what will be a very young group,” Davey told the Voice.

He also had a playing stint at Avondale Heights in the Essendon and District Football League prior to 2017.

Davey said Stretton was recommended by current Ocean Grove star midfielder Luke Cartelli, who was a former teammate of Stretton at Avondale Heights.

“He came recommended by Luke Cartelli, so we knew he ticked the character box and after we met, it was clear that he was the type of person that we wanted at our club,” he said.

He said Stretton is a capable leader and will help nurture the club’s midfield brigade.

“(He) will do a lot of stuff with our young midfielders,” Davey said.

“Our average age will likely be 21, so he’s a very welcome addition.”

THE Grubbers  lost some senior star midfield power in 2019.

Grubber senior co-captain James Linton was sidelined with a hip injury and only played six games, while 2018 senior best and fairest winner Cartelli managed 10 games this season.

Linton’s future remains uncertain in 2020, his last senior game was on 11 May and he did not play since round six.  

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