Ryan Sturgess has signed on with the Northern Blues for the 2020 season.
Touted as one of the country’s best prospects who went undrafted, Sturgess represents an astute signing for the Blues with less than three weeks remaining until the start of the season.
The youngster is no stranger to both Ikon Park and Preston City Oval, having spent a month training with Carlton at the turn of the year while previously featuring for the Northern Knights.
A close friend of Carlton’s Sam Philp, Sturgess’ form for the Knights turned heads, ultimately seeing him selected for Vic Metro in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.
Having made a considerable impact as a medium defender, Sturgess also showed his versatility at both ends of the ground, kicking nine goals from 13 NAB League games.
He just turned 18 in November, with his aerial work and athleticism his key strengths.
Northern came out on top in a tight contest against Frankston.
It was a solid result for a young Northern side featuring no AFL-listed players and five players under 19. ????#NorthBound
— Northern Blues FC (@NBluesFC) March 13, 2020
He will join Jordan Cunico and Lukas Webb, who have also signed with the Northern Blues having had pre-season experience with Carlton.
General Manager Ben Brennan said Sturgess’ signing bolstered a talented, youthful core at the Club.
“We couldn’t be happier to have Ryan commit to our club: he’s someone who we wanted for a number of reasons,” Brennan said.
“He’s a great person and he’s a really talented young player. Given our connections with both Carlton and the Northern Knights, everything about this was a perfect fit.
“We think he can play multiple roles for us. He’s a great size, he’s good in the air and he’s got some mates at AFL and VFL level already.
“We’re really excited for him to show what he can offer.”
2020 playing list
Returning: Mason Blakey, Kieran Collins, Alex Johnson, Kye Quirk, Noah Wheeler, Oscar White, Tom Wilson
New Blues: Jake Bartholomaeus, Jordan Cunico, Cody Hirst, Tim Jones, Joe Richards, Ryan Sturgess, Lukas Webb