By ZAC MILBANK
Norwood’s 2020 premiership campaign has received a massive boost with the signing of delisted Brisbane Lions midfielder Ryan Bastinac.
Boasting 164 AFL games of experience, the 28-year-old is poised to become one of the competition’s star performers with the Redlegs.
Speaking on SANFL Radio, Bastinac said his close friendship with Norwood’s 2019 Club Champion Brad McKenzie was the chief motivator to continue his career in South Australia.
But the prolific possession winner is also keen to play at the highest level possible, after spending the past 10 years on an AFL list with North Melbourne (121 AFL games) and the Lions (43 AFL games).
Measuring in at 186cm and 82kg, Bastinac said Norwood coach Jarrod Cotton plans to use him primarily out of the centre square given he averaged 31 disposals in 17 games with the Lions in the NEAFL this year.
Bastinac’s leadership will also be tapped into at The Parade, considering he captained the Lions to this year’s NEAFL premiership in what was also an undefeated campaign.
The Lions’ Reserves Best and Fairest winner for the past two seasons, Bastinac is also eyeing a fresh start off the field as he embarks on a career in player welfare and development.
Recognising the importance in mental health care has risen in the past decade, the Victorian is eager to act as a support network for those finding it tough on both sides of the fence.