Former Dockers star to play for Eagles

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Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times
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The Collie Eagles have boosted their squad with the addition of former Fremantle Docker and Essendon midfielder Ryan Crowley.

The 34-year-old comes into the team to help ease the pain of losing key forward Joel Houghton, who will be out for eight to 10 weeks with a broken hand.

Crowley played 196 AFL games between 2003 and 2016, before representing Swan Districts in the WAFL last season.

Eagles coach Seth White said the club had spoken to Crowley late last year about playing, but he had indicated he wanted a year off.

“He has now just got the bug back,” he said.

“We had a chat late last year, but he backed off.”

White said Crowley was unlikely to play for the league leaders until their round five game against South Bunbury.

“It is more than likely he will play our home game after the bye,” he said.

“It is a bit too early to tell. It might be pushing it a bit (to play on Saturday).”

Crowley won the 2012 Doig Medal as the Dockers’ best and fairest, before retiring from the game in 2015.

He was coaxed out of retirement to play for the Bombers as a “top-up player” during the club’s supplement scandal.

White said Crowley was a big recruiting coup for the entire competition, not just the Collie Eagles.

“We are just fortunate it is us (that he is coming to),” he said.

The first-year coach was unsure if Crowley would play when Houghton returned from injury later in the season.

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