PLYMOUTH Albion have announced their first new signing of the summer with the capture of former Australian under-20 player Ethan Ford.
The 23-year-old utility back is to join fellow Australian and former Randwick team-mate Marc Koteczky at Brickfields.
Koteczky, who can play centre, full-back or fly-half, has signed a new deal with Albion, despite their relegation from the Championship.
Ford, like Koteczky, can play a number of positions and has a European passport as his grandmother was born in the UK.
His favourite positions are wing or full-back, but he can also play centre or fly-half.
Ford, an Australian schoolboy international, has played for Melbourne Rebels’ A team and last season earned selection to play for the New South Wales Country Eagles in the inaugural NRC competition.
Albion’s director of rugby Graham Dawe is delighted to have secured Ford’s services for next year’s National One campaign and retained those of Koteczky, who impressed the Plymouth boss in the final few matches of the season.
“We understand Ethan is an accomplished footballer, who can play 15, 13 or wing,” said Dawe.
“He is certainly an attacking player and it is always good to have some of them.
“He has played for the same club as Marc, who has also agreed to stay with us, which is great as it gives us some continuity.
“Marc is a very talented footballer who can play 10, 12 or 15 and is a goalkicker as well, although we primarily see him as a centre.”
Koteczky, who has played in Italy, featured in 11 league games for Albion last season, but only managed one Championship start in his favourite number 12 position under previous head coach James Shanahan before Dawe gave him the chance to impress there in the final three matches.
“His opportunities were limited a bit last season because of the EQP rule,” said Dawe. “But he did get himself in good shape by the end of the season.”
Ford, meanwhile, is looking forward to moving to England and becoming the latest Randwick back to pull on an Albion shirt.
Dawe in his first spell at Albion signed James Pritchard from the Australian club.
“I am looking forward to joining up with the Plymouth Albion squad and experiencing rugby in England,” said Ford.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about the club and the city.
“I know Marc (Koteczky) well from Randwick so it will great to play alongside him again. I’m excited about the challenge that awaits.”
Ford and Koteczky join Herbie Stupple on Albion’s books as they try to rebuild after their relegation.
Stupple had a two-year deal with the club. Hooker Ted Stagg, like Stupple, is also believed to have previously signed a contract that lasts until the summer of 2016 but his future has still not been confirmed.
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