Former Saint and VFL star lands in the nest
Culture, appetite for success and a young list desperate to improve.
They were just some of the reasons that attracted Sam Dunell to Cheltenham.
Dunell, who played 12 games for St Kilda, has crossed to the Rosellas from Bonbeach in the Mornington Peninsula league.
The 33-year-old said the Rosellas’ culture was clear from the get-go.
“I think the biggest thing was their culture, I could clearly see from catch ups with the president and the coach that they’re a family-orientated club,” he said.
“They’ve had some success, so where I am at with my career I am keen to see if I can win as many flags as possible to finish off.
“Along with that there was a number of players I played with at Sandringham that have ended up there at the end of their careers as well, they’ve spoken about how great it’s been and how much they enjoy their football.”
Dunell chases a kick at Sandringham.
Dunell forged out a superb VFL career either side of his stint with St Kilda.
In 2015 he ran second in the JJ Liston Trophy, was named in the Team of the Year and played a crucial role in Williamstown’s premiership.
But that year remains Dunell’s only senior flag and he has high hopes to add to the tally at Cheltenham.
“It was big, they won their first premiership for a long time this year,” he said.
“It’s always good to come into a team that’s successful and competitive, that is important because I am keen to have success knowing I have only one senior flag in my career.
“I would be keen to add to that.”
With his pathway in mind, Dunell hopes he can help the young Rosellas who are taking a shot at a VFL pre-season.
“There’s a good mix with a lot of up-and-coming talent with a lot of them keen to progress to the VFL,” he said.
“I started taking two or three years in local footy before I went to the VFL, so I am keen to help enable their progression as much as I can.
“I think that’s in the way I prepare, the way I train – it’ll be those two things where I think I can help some of those guys.
“I have had a bit to do with a few of them from when I was at Sandy a few years ago, there’s some talent, I am looking forward to it.
“When you’re older you need the younger guys, they keep you grounded and give you energy, so I am very excited to meeting and playing with them.”
Dunell’s signing comes days after the Rosellas added another ex-Saint in Jack Lonie.