WAFL: Swan Districts boosted by Xavier Ellis joining player group

Xavier Ellis tangles with Cyril Rioli.
Xavier Ellis tangles with Cyril Rioli.

SWAN Districts players and fans received some early presents ahead of the festive season.

Retired West Coast Eagle and former Hawthorn premiership player Xavier Ellis – who joined Swans in October as colts coach – told league mentor Greg Harding he would be available to play.

And former Swans players Joel Houghton and Jesse Manton have returned to Bassendean Oval.

Harding said he was thrilled with the Ellis decision.

“He has decided he’s got some more footy to play and will pull on the black and white next season,” Harding said.

“At 28 years of age, Xavier has a hell of a lot left to offer, and his experience and leadership will be critical to us.

“He’s a natural leader, and to have someone of his character out on field driving the group is a nice luxury to attain at this time of year.”

Houghton returned to the club after a year in the country, and Manton came back from NSW after stints with Ainsley and for Wagga.

“Jesse’s last game was in the 2014 elimination final as a young pup and he’ll add even more depth to a squad that’s coming together nicely,” Harding said in his club blog.

Swans return to training on January 5.

Their first game is against Perth on March 18.