Fox, Cook back at Cheltenham

Without really ever having him, Cheltenham has lost key recruit Oliver Tate.

The former VFL and WAFL defender signed to play with Chelt for 2020, strengthening a team that made the 2019 Division 1 grand final.

But COVID-19 wiped out the season, Tate never got to pull on the Rosella jumper and he’s now joined Leopold.

Rosellas coach Des Ryan said Tate’s personal circumstances had changed, the club understood them and the right-footer left with Cheltenham’s best wishes.

“We’re disappointed we won’t see Ollie play for us, but who knows what might happen in the future,’’ he said.

Tate is a podiatrist and will continue to work locally.

But the good news outweighs the bad at the Rosellas.

Key forward Josh Fox has returned to Melbourne and committed to the club as a full-time player after spending 2020 in the Southern Football League in Tasmania.

Playing for Cygnet, he booted 61 goals from 11 matches, leading the team into the grand final.

Fox injured his knee and missed the 2019 season. Ryan says he’s virtually a recruit for the Rosellas.

“Before the season broke up, he was enormous,’’ he said of the 197cm forward.

“His agility and the way he was moving on the track was the best I’d seen from him. With some more weight on him it’s another string to his bow and he’s going to be very hard to stop.’’

The Rosellas will also regain former Adelaide Crows wingman and Sandringham VFL co-captain Myke Cook from a serious knee injury.

Ryan calls Cook “a forgotten man’’ of the Southern league.

“Like ‘Foxy’, he was flying on the track,’’ he said.

“We know he hasn’t played suburban footy, but he’s played in the VFL and the AFL and his knee is 110 per cent. He’ll take it by the throat. People have forgotten how good a footballer is he. He’s a forgotten man of our league.’’

While ruckman Charlie Kelo has lost the desire to play football, the Rosellas have recruited big man Daniel Rendall from Parkdale Vultures.

He’s the son of former league ruckman Matt Rendell and went through the Sandringham Dragons.

“He’s a competitor. He’s not a huge ruckman but he just fronts up,’’ Ryan said.

“Him and Sean McLaren will share the ruck duties. They can both go forward. He’s going to be handy for us.’’

The Rosellas have Finn Ryan and Austin Johnson training with VFL club Frankston.

Wingman Johnson played for the St Bede’s College Herald Sun Shield premiership team in 2019 and Ryan believes he has a bright future.