Jonathan O’Rourke becomes a Blue

The Northern Blues Football Club has secured the prized signing of Jonathan O’Rourke for the 2019 season.

O’Rourke arrives at Northern with six years of experience in the AFL system, after being selected with pick No.2 in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft.

His experience in the VFL is evident, having played a big role in Box Hill’s premiership victory in 2018.

He featured in over 50 games for the Hawks at state-league level, which featured three years of finals football.

O’Rourke was one of the damaging outside midfielders of the competition for the Hawks last year, averaging over 20 disposals over the campaign including finals.

It was his ability to link up with the play and his strong running game which was his main asset,  featuring in the top 10 in the VFL for handballs.

His leadership and experience will be a valuable addition for the Blues, as he joins Kieran Collins and Alex Johnson as key AFL recruits for 2019.

General Manager Ben Brennan said the acquisition of O’Rourke was one which meant a great deal to the football club.

“We’re delighted that we’ve been able to welcome Jonathan O’Rourke to the Club for the 2019 season,” Brennan said.

“We probably can’t oversell just how happy we are to welcome him to our club.

“He was the player the Club and the coaches wanted and we’re absolutely thrilled he’ll be pulling on the Northern Blues jumper in 2019.

“We know his abilities as a midfielder, which was an area we really wanted to strengthen this year. With Tom Wilson and Sam Fisher, we think Jono adds to that and forms part of a strong, core group.

“He’s had experience on the biggest stage which our club hasn’t had in recent times, but it’s where we want to be and we’re confident he’ll play a really big role in getting us there.”

New Blues: Kieran Collins (Western Bulldogs), Alex Johnson (Sydney), Jonathan O’Rourke (Hawthorn)

Returning Blues: Mason Blakey, Max Dreher, Sam Fisher, Josh Hill, Kane Keppel, Jordan Lynch, Jesse Palmer, Ethan Penrith, Marcus Stavrou, Jean-Luc Velissaris, Tom Wilson

Sign up today to become a Northern Blues member in 2019.


Keppel, Stavrou are Northbound

2018 vice-captains Kane Keppel and Marcus Stavrou have recommitted to the Northern Blues for the upcoming season.

Two players who have often had their Northern Blues careers overlap, the former Eastern Ranges products will go again for season three at Preston City Oval.

With the ability to play multiple roles, the two have made immediate impacts in their time at Northern. The duo have been recognised as young leaders, and have assumed the mantle with their young teammates in driving the club forward into its next phase.

They join fellow vice-captain Mason Blakey as a number of key re-signings for 2019, with the former Northern Knights captain committing to the Club once again late last year.

Keppel overcame a nasty leg injury sustained in his first season to play 15 games for the Blues in 2018. Ranked third for rebound 50s at the Blues, Keppel combined his usual role in defence with stints up forward.

Stavrou burst onto the scene for Northern in 2017, before a fractured fibula on the eve of the 2018 season held him up. However, the big-bodied youngster rebounded to play the last nine games of the year uninterrupted, capped off with an impressive showing against Essendon.

Northern Blues General Manager Ben Brennan said the Club was thrilled that the two emerging leaders had put pen to paper for the 2019 season.

“We’re really happy that Kane and Marcus have signed on to play for our club once again in 2019,” Brennan said.

“They’ve both embraced and lived our values since arriving at Northern from the TAC Cup, and the faith from their teammates was evident when they were nominated as vice-captains last year.

“Along with Mason Blakey, they’ll form a key part of our next wave of players coming through and we think they have the potential to become really consistent, long-term players for our club.”

Returning Blues: Mason Blakey, Max Dreher, Sam Fisher, Josh Hill, Kane Keppel, Jordan Lynch, Jesse Palmer, Ethan Penrith, Marcus Stavrou, Jean-Luc Velissaris, Tom Wilson

New Blues: Kieran Collins (Western Bulldogs), Alex Johnson (Sydney)