VFL: Roosters’ Tristan Cartledge signs with Strathmore

TRISTAN CARTLEDGE has left Victorian Football League premier North Ballarat.The ruckman has signed with Strathmore in the Essendon District Football League,The 24-year-old agreed to terms with Strathmore yesterday.Cartledge, who played nine AFL games with Essendon (seven) and Richmond (two), told The Courier he was looking forward to the lesser level of commitment needed outside the VFL.”(I’m) just a bit worn out with the whole level of commitment that is required,” Cartledge said.”I really just want to take a bit of a rest next year and then I’ll evaluate things,” he said.Cartledge, who will continue to live and study in Ballarat, refused to rule out a return to the VFL in the future.Cartledge has ties at Strathmore, being friends with the family of president John Elliott and player Joel Reynolds.Cartledge and Reynolds played at Essendon together.Elliott labelled Cartledge as “the signing of the year”.”He was our number one priority – he has been for three years,” he said.Cartledge had two stints with North Ballarat.Originally drafted by Essendon from the North Ballarat Rebels, he joined the Selkirk Roosters in 2007 after being delisted by the Bombers.He had an outstanding year with North Ballarat, establishing himself as the VFL’s number one ruckman.This prompted Richmond to give the big man a second opportunity in the AFL by picking him up in the 2007 rookie draft.The Tigers released him after just one year and he rejoined North Ballarat this year.However, he was unable to find his best form and after playing 14 games missed out on a berth in the Roosters’ premiership line-up.Cartledge joins Jacob Spolding and Dean Chester as experienced players to leave North Ballarat ahead of next season.The Roosters will also be without key defender Michael Searl, who will spend next year overseas.
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