January 12, 2006
Orren Stephenson left the Roosters at the end of the 2005 seaon but has reconsidered following the departure of Mark Porter. The following article is from the Ballarat Courier. Orren opts for Roosters' ruck role Thursday, 12 January 2006 NORTH Ballarat has lured Redan premiership player Orren Stephenson back to Austar Arena with a golden chance to become the club's premier ruckman. Stephenson, 23, was full of enthusiasm last night at training on his return to the Roosters, having prematurely ended his Victorian Football League career at the end of last year. Stephenson walked away from North Ballarat and signed with his former Ballarat Football League club Redan, which badly needed his height. But North Ballarat's off-season player exodus, which included the departure of ruckman Mark Porter, handed Stephenson a chance to again prove himself at VFL level. He was last night excited about competing against some of the league's leading big men. North Ballarat coach Gavin Crosisca showed his faith in Stephenson, declaring him the club's "main man" for this year. Crosisca was confident the 201cm giant would develop into a power player. Stephenson, a two-time Redan premiership ruckman, managed only five senior games in his first stint with the Roosters last year. "With Mark Porter moving on, a door has really opened for Orren," Crosisca said. "We needed a strong ruckman and he's got so much room to grow and develop. "It's fantastic to have him back and hopefully he will be able to blossom into the number one role." Crosisca was just as rapt to have newly-appointed captain Shaune Moloney training. Moloney missed the entire 2005 season because he was working and holidaying overseas. Stephenson said work commitments and family reasons were behind his exit from the Roosters in October. He said it was an agonising decision to turn his back on Redan this month. Stephenson said his aim was to have an impact on the VFL. "Things changed before Christmas and I made my decision to return to North Ballarat a week or so ago," he said. "Redan has been great about it, but I do feel a bit bad because it came about so late. "I'm just looking forward to the opportunity I've got, playing with the Kangaroo boys as well." Redan spokesman Craig Jackson said his club was proud of Stephenson and was supportive of his desire to play at a higher level. The Roosters - without their AFL Kangaroo team-mates - hit the track last night for the first time this year.