THE Northern Blues have secured the signatures of Mason Blakey, Kieran Collins and Kane Keppel for the 2020 season.
Joining captain Tom Wilson in recommitting for the coming year, the young leaders provide a significant boost for the Blues leading into pre-season.
Blakey and Keppel return for their third respective seasons at Preston City Oval, while former Western Bulldogs Collins is back for a second.
For the past two seasons, Blakey and Keppel have been co-vice captains at the Club, investing from the outset since arriving from the Northern Knights and Eastern Ranges respectively.
Blakey has played 38 games for Northern so far, impressing as a small defender who gives maximum effort each week. He is joined by 33-gamer Keppel, who has emerged as a genuine swingman option for senior coach Josh Fraser.
The duo are joined by Collins, who is looking to put a frustrating debut year behind him which was affected by injury.
A former first-round draft pick at the elite level, the key defender is intent on showing the VFL competition what he’s truly capable of.
Still just 21 years of age, there’s a sense of unfinished business for the big man.
Northern Blues General Manager Ben Brennan said the Club was thrilled to retain three quality young players and people.
“We’re delighted to have Mason, Kieran and Kane coming back in 2020: they’re all still 21 years of age but have leadership qualities and will have a big say going forward,” Brennan said.
“They’ll have a big impact off-field just as they will on the field and we think they’ve still got a lot of growth to come at their age.
“We’re looking forward to seeing what they can offer in pre-season ahead of what we’re hoping is a really exciting 2020 season.
“Along with our skipper Tom Wilson, we’ve retained some of our core leadership and we’re really confident we can add to that – through re-signings and new recruits – in the coming weeks.”