Sharks finally land Leggett
East Fremantle has pounced on an ‘administrative error’ from Perth to secure the services of long kicking utility Cody Leggett for the 2020 WAFL season.
After a long drawn out dispute between the clubs over the off-season and in to the initial pre-season saw Leggett’s hopeful clearance to the Sharks blocked after an independent WAFL arbitrary hearing, the 24 year old was signed to the club on Friday after the Demons had inadvertently deregistered him mid-week ahead of the usual June 30 transfer deadline.
With the deadline for WAFL clearances extended due to the delayed start to the season, Leggett became available via a supplementary list that can see him signed by any WAFL club after being deregistered. The Sharks promptly signed the Attadale product for the 2020 season, made official on Friday afternoon.
East Fremantle football manager Brad Dodd said the club was delighted to secure Leggett’s services.
“I think we were resigned to the fact that he wouldn’t play at East Fremantle this year, I think Cody was as well,” he said.
“More than anything from our point of view I’m just relieved for him that this has finally come to a conclusion.
He’s done it pretty tough at times. Now the fact that it’s finally ended, he can get going back in to training and really push forward to play the season.”
Leggett was set to play with North Fremantle in the Perth Football League competition having knocked back the opportunity to play with the Demons this season, under contract initially for another season before he was deregistered.
Now he is a likely starter for the Sharks in round one against South Fremantle and will play in a reserves practice match against Claremont on Saturday.
Dodd was confident he would be right to go for two weeks’ time.
“He’s pretty confident he’s fit. We’ll put him out tomorrow and just see how he goes and assess him from there," he said.
“We’ll look to play him in the league team next week against Subiaco and then hopefully he presses his case for round one against South Fremantle.”
Dodd said a positional change had attracted Leggett to Moss Street.
“When Bill (Monaghan) approached him and we sat down spoke with him, we were looking at some better ball users out of our defence. We were looking to add a couple more players who could go through half back and we identified Cody as one of those with his kicking ability,” Dodd said.
“At this stage our plan is for him to play at half back, he played there for a quarter against us last year and had about 13 or 14 touches, so we’ve seen him at his best down there. We think that really adds something to our group.”
Despite some strong conversations with Leggett’s former club Perth, Dodd said that the two clubs maintained a strong professional relationship.
“We are in the same competition. We are always discussing players at times. One of our players Jayden Quill made the move to Perth this off-season as well. I think most clubs are going to win some and lose some,” he said.
“I think generally the relationship between the clubs in these situations, there might be a bit of angst initially but generally you move on and get on with creating a squad that you want and playing footy.”
East Fremantle will host Claremont and Subiaco in two practice matches, before heading to Fremantle Oval to face archrivals South Fremantle in a blockbuster round one derby.
IMAGE: EFFC Twitter.