Quintet Re-Sign for 2021

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 - 6:47 PM by Owen Davies

More positive contract news at the Thunder with the developing quintet of James Ewing, Jack Sears, Tyrone Thone, Ben Middleton and Zach Rankin all re-signing with the club for 2021. 

All five along with recent signing Jarvis Pina were a part of the minor Premier Colts side that fell just short in the 2019 Grand Final to Claremont and are all key pieces for the club moving forward.

Sears began the season is a swingman role, splitting his time between half back and half forward before settling into a more permanent forward line role managing to hit the scoreboard in 3 of the final 4 games. Tall and athletic, while he has shown his capabilities at both ends of the ground this past season, he could yet develop into a solid wing option, a position he played a lot over previous Colts seasons.

A potential draft prospect after an incredible 2019 season, Tyrone Thorne found his feet in the latter stages of the season. After a breakout Round 6 against Swan Districts in which he had a career high 19 disposals and took one of the marks of the year. Thorne took that form  into the final fortnight of the season laying 13 tackles over the final 2 games showing that despite his size he isn’t afraid to mix it with bigger bodies and will continue to be a massive asset and one to keep an eye on for the next few seasons. 

Power forward Ben Middleton kicked 52 goals from 29 games over two Colts seasons, including a haul of 5 in the 2019 Grand Final. While he didn’t quite reach those heights in 2020, he did however gain valuable experience by playing every game at senior level alongside the likes of Hayden Ballantyne, Brayden Lawler, Blair Bell and Brad Holmes. Experience that will be priceless as he continues to develop his forward craft in 2021 and beyond.

Starting the year at Colts while still eligible, Rankin impressed in the first two games of the season before earning his callup to the League side in Round 3 against West Perth. After playing the bulk of his football through the midfield at Colts, Rankin played almost exclusively as small defender at the next level. The highlight of his season was a 17-possession game in Round 4 against Claremont in just his 2nd game, a performance that saw him pick up 14 of a possible 15 coaches votes. 

James Ewing was another 19-year-old that was thrust straight into the League side in 2020. An athletic defender, capable of some big mark and possession games from the back half, Ewing’s best game was against Subiaco in Round 5 when he picked up 18 disposals and took 7 marks. After picking up a lower leg injury in Round 6 against Swans, Ewing missed the game against South Fremantle before returning for the final round of the season against East Perth where he had another solid marking game taking 6 to go with 12 disposals. Expect Ewing to continue to improve under the guidance of Will Schofield and Josh Bootsma in 2021.