Pattison, 24, along with discarded Hawthorn ruckman Wayde Skipper – now at Port Melbourne – were delisted last season mainly due to the AFL’s decision to downsize benches this season to three players and one substitute in a bid to curb the escalating number of rotations during matches.
Some club officials believed the new rule would spell the end of the second ruckman but Box Hill coach Damian Carroll was adamant Pattison could still play AFL if he was to impress at VFL level this season.
“We plan to play Adam up forward and in the ruck and I think if he impresses enough in both of those areas this year then he can still definitely play AFL,” Carroll said.
“We’re rapt to have Adam on our list and he will add a fair bit of experience to the list.”
Skipper, who chose to play under Gary Ayres at the Borough this season, was seen to be a shock delisting from Hawthorn after playing 15 matches last season including its elimination final loss to Fremantle.
But the Hawks opted to chase the more versatile David Hale in the trade period to replace Skipper, while Simon Taylor was also cut.
Box Hill has signalled its flag intentions by also signed former Bulldog Jarrod Boumann to replace North Melbourne rookie Cameron Pederson, ex-Hawk Beau Muston and former Sydney midfielder Taylor Gilchrist to replace new Carlton rookie Ed Curnow. While experienced trio Luke Ablett, Steve Kenna and Marco Bello have retired.
The Werribee Tigers have signed former North Melbourne forward Leigh Harding, while North Ballarat has retained Myles Sewell despite lucrative bids from SANFL clubs.
Meanwhile, the first round fixture of the AFL Champions league was released recently with the Northern Bullants scheduled to take on new AFL club, Greater Western Sydney on April 30 at the MCG.
The grand final will be played on Saturday August 6 as a curtain raiser to Saturday night’s clash between Essendon and Sydney at Etihad Stadium.
Foxtel will broadcast most matches with about a one hour delay.
Sat March 26 – Morningside v NT Thunder, 4:05pm at the Gabba
Sat April 2 – East Perth v North Ballarat, 5:35pm at Patersons Stadium
Sat April 9 – Swan Districts v Williamstown, 5:05pm at Patersons Stadium
Sat April 16 – West Adelaide v Ainslie, 4:35pm at AAMI Stadium
Sat April 23 – Clarence v Claremont, 7:35pm at Bellerive Oval
Sat April 30 – Northern Bullants v GWS, 4:05pm at the MCG
Sat May 14 – East Coast Eagles v Port Adelaide, 4:45pm at the SCG
Sat May 21 – Labrador v North Adelaide , 4:45pm at the Gabba
By Brent Diamond