Cloke adds life

By Tyler Maher

Former AFL journeyman Cameron Cloke has signed with Barooga for the rest of the season.

The Murray Football League ladder leader has put in a clearance for the towering forward and Hawks co-coach James Hazelman was confident there would be no issues in getting it approved.

‘‘From our end, it’s all good to go,’’ Hazelman said.

‘‘I don’t think we’ll have any dramas with the clearance.’’

Cloke has been plying his trade with Hurstbridge in the Northern Football League, but has taken the opportunity to step back to country football after Trevor Little stood down as coach of The Bridges mid-season.

‘‘It was just through a mutual friend,’’ Hazelman said.

‘‘He approached us through one of our assistant coaches and it all happened pretty quickly.

‘‘He’s been keen to come up this way and we haven’t gone after him, the opportunity just arose and we’re happy to have him.’’

The former Collingwood, Carlton and Port Adelaide big man could appear at Barooga Recreation Reserve tomorrow for the Hawks’ clash against Tungamah, but Hazelman hoped his boom recruit would not just be a flash in the pan as part of his team.

‘‘It will be great to have someone of his skill and experience around the group,’’ Hazelman said.

‘‘It has come about pretty quickly since the start of the week, but it will be great to have someone like him around for the rest of the year.’’

‘‘Looking long-term, hopefully he’s around for two or three years, we don’t want him to be just a quick fix.’’

Cloke, 33, booted 36 majors in 58 AFL games from 2004-10, but has enjoyed more time in the forward line since then, including kicking 127 goals in 19 games for Jacana last season.

The Hawks have struggled to consistently put big totals on the board this year and rank fifth in the competition for points scored, despite sitting unbeaten on top of the table with eight straight wins.

It means that Cloke’s addition up forward could be just what Barooga needs to take its game to the next level.

‘‘He’s obviously a big body and a commanding presence on the field,’’ Hazelman said.

‘‘We’ve obviously had a few injuries in the last few weeks, but we’re hoping for a bit of stability now for the rest of the season.’’

Cloke’s brother Travis has also appeared for Hurstbridge this season, but the Hawks will not be chasing his signature.

‘‘We’re happy just to have Cameron on board and we’ve had no contact with Travis,’’ Hazelman said.

‘‘It is good for our group and club in the position we’re in to have Cameron join us, and (getting Travis as well) hasn’t even crossed our minds, to be honest.’’