Kyabram Bombers sign cousins Sam and Tom Sheldon.
Kyabram Football Club has enjoyed a happy and prosperous New Year with two high profile recruits signing on to play with the Bombers this year.
Cousins Sam and Tom Sheldon said they were looking forward to joining the Bombers when meeting Kyabram officials at the club last Friday.
‘‘We had several clubs interested but we decided Kyabram was our top choice,’’ said Sam, who was delisted from the Brisbane Lions last year after playing 43 senior games with the club since being recruited from TAC club Oakleigh Chargers in the 2006 national draft.
A strongly built centre man standing 183
‘‘I think we’re going to really enjoy it,’’ said Sam.
The former Echuca player, who last season played in Nathalia’s premiership side in the Murray Football League, said he was influenced by Chris Atkins persuasion to join Kyabram.
He was a teammate of Atkins last year at Nathalia and said Atkins’ return to Kyabram and the prospect of playing in the same team as Sam was ‘‘too good a chance to pass up’’.
Atkins and Tom, a long left foot kicking defender, struck up a friendship while playing in GVFL representative teams in 2010 and 2011.
‘‘I have also been training with Chris in Melbourne for the last three years or so and we’ve become pretty close,’’ said Tom.
Sam and Tom, 24, were accompanied to Kyabram by their respecitive fathers, Ken and Brett.
Ken is a three times premiership player with the Carlton Football Club who was also impressed with the club’s dealings with his sons.
Ken Sheldon was also a part of the Blues’ 1981 and 1982 premiership sides.
In 1987, Ken Sheldon moved to the St Kilda Football Club after 132 games and 170 goals with Carlton. He went on to play 53 games for 24 goals with the Saints until the end of the 1989 season.
Remaining at St Kilda, Sheldon became their coach from 1990 to 1993.
In 1991 Sheldon led the Saints to their first AFL Finals Series since 1973. He is credited with turning the fortunes of the club, who again made the finals in 1992.
Sheldon has recently been reappointed to the St Kilda Football Club as its football operations manager.
Bombers secretary Max McKenzie said his club was stoked to get the Sheldon cousins.
“From a club perspective we are very excited at the level of commitment the Sheldon boys and their families have made to our footy club and town. They are not just blokes who will turn up to play and then leave.
‘‘Ken has spoken to us about holding a fundraiser for the club in Melbourne, ie, a function that will put money back into the club.
‘‘We feel very lucky to have this quality family at our club. We hope everyone makes them feel welcome,” added Max.
The Sheldon signings are the icing on the cake in Kyabram’s recruiting campaign led by former club president Peter Croxford.
The Bombers have already lured former players Atkins, Simon Seddon, Josh Linton, Ryan Emmett, Bernard Wearden back to the club plus Queensland recruits Brett Davis and Beau Reynolds and young South Australian talent Jordan Briggs.
At this stage the only losses are Nathan Beck and Rhys Clark while young utility star James Lovison’s name is being strongly linked with Tongala where his brother Adam plays.
Beck and Clarke are trying out with VFL side Bendigo Gold but have nominated Kyabam as their second club.
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