Following Yarrawonga’s most successful season in the Ovens and Murray Football Netball League the Pigeons look even stronger in 2013 signing three new players with AFL experience.By Stephen Hicks
The Pigeons will enter Season 2013 as defending premiers in seniors, back to back in reserves and Under 16s as well as four time reigning premiers in A Grade netball.
During the off season the Pigeons have added AFL experience with a total of 955 games after the recruitment of 245 game Geelong and Richmond veteran Brad Ottens to play a handful of games.
He will join ex Richmond player Kayne Pettifer who will play the season with the Pigeons.
Former North Melbourne and Hawthorn star Nathan Thompson has also signed on and will play on Easter Sunday for the Pigeons.
2011 VCFL and Hampden Football League representative Jarrod Thompson has arrived at the Pigeons coop with big raps and will be a key defender after playing that role successfully in premiership teams while Tatura defender James Walters will play with the club after securing work locally.
But the Pigeons are not relying on the new players to the club with a multitude of local players putting their hands up for regular senior football at the Pigeons.
Returning to the club are premiership players Marc Lonergan from overseas, while Tim Hargreaves returns to the Pigeons after stints at Mulwala and Rennie coupled with serious surgery to repair a foot injury.
Former Pigeon Luke Hammond returns to the Pigeons from Golden Square in the Bendigo Football League after winning four consecutive premierships with them.
Steve McKee will also return to the Pigeons and work as a ruck coach whilst playing for the club.
2011 Reserves Premiership coach Matt Grinter also returns to the club from Rennie, alongside talented youngster Jack O’Callaghan who is a running wingman with pace to burn and good skills.
Ruckman Lach Howe is playing with Geelong in the VFL and may play a few games with the Pigeons when time allows.
Current players that the coaches have earmarked as improvers this year include Brady Pritchard and Jake Wild who have trained pre-season with the Murray Bushrangers and will step up from Under 18s.
Other players expected to step up include Bronson Schofield, Reed Bonat, Corey Greer, Chris Wilson, Matt and Will Gorman, Connor Hargreaves, Adam Petrovic and Tom Ferguson who won the Under 18 Best and Fairest in 2012.
On the downside the Pigeons have said goodbye to a number of players. Senior premiership players to leave the Pigeons have been Brandon Symes who heads to the VFL to test himself at the next level.
Matt Shannon is headed overseas with a slight chance of returning late in the season.
Reserve premiership players to depart include Nick Sims who was headed overseas but recently broke his leg in a marine accident.
Luke Ednie heads to Cairns to ply his football wares, while Lucas Olsen has headed to Mulwala.
Jarryd Whinray is heading overseas but could return towards the end of the season and Bernard Price is currently working for the AFL in outback Northern Territory.
Football coaches for 2013 are Chris Kennedy and Drew Barnes (Seniors), Lee Fraser and Noel Skehan (Senior Assistant Coach), Dennis Phibbs and Ben Bailey (Reserves), Dean Carroll (Under 18) Matt Wollington and Dave Cameron (Assistant Under 18), Dave Bye (Under 16), Chris Pritchard (Under 14 Div 1) Tom Ferguson (Under 14 Div 2). Netball Coaches are Bridget Tait (A Grade), Kaitlyn Bourke (B Grade), Wendy Saunders and Kylie Leslie (C Grade), Laura Bourke (Under 16).
Emergency services are at the scene of a house fire in Northgate St, Mooroopna.
The winning form continued for the Mulwala seniors against Deniliquin at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The Tatura Hospital and Parkvilla Aged Care Facility, part of Goulburn Valley Health, held its annual June Hospital Collection and Open Day on Sunday with a small crowd in attendance.
Giving birth at home was a risk-free option for Moama mum Samantha Dawson, she says.
After suffering with reading difficulties for many years, former Rochester resident Nelson Jones has benefited from being diagnosed and treated for Irlen Syndrome.
Kyabram’s first tourism booklet is to be launched in late September.
Something truly inspirational took place on Saturday as former teammates honoured the memory of Eamonn O'Connor.
Berrigan and Jerilderie Shires will be in separate state electorates if boundary redistributions announced on Monday come in to effect.
A group of yarnbombers dressed an oak in Heathcote’s High St in a vibrant, woolly patchwork coat last week.
Cobram produced another positive and impressive performance on Saturday with an 88-point victory over an undermanned Rumbalara
Former AFL player Heath Black sent an inspiring message to Deniliquin youths last week.
Goulburn Valley fruit growers may face a battle against pests and diseases this season as growers hit by SPC Ardmona’s fruit cutbacks abandon their orchards or can’t find money to properly maintain them.
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