Leitchville-Gunbower has recruited seven Melbourne-based footballers for season 2014.LUKE MCMANUS February 20, 2014 4:04am
High player prices has forced Leitchville-Gunbower to seek the services of seven Melbourne-based recruits for the 2014 Heathcote and District Football League season.
Senior coach Marty Shadbolt, entering his second season at the helm, said district footballers with steep price tags had coerced the Bombers into casting their net further south for metropolitan players who were willing to travel.
Surrounding leagues are also making life tough for the Bombers, with many cashed-up clubs swooping on the already limited pool of available talent.
‘‘We’ve found it extremely hard to recruit blokes locally and around the Bendigo area,’’ Shadbolt said.
‘‘The problem is there are so many leagues around this area and not enough players to go around.
‘‘The prices on players that are available are overly inflated and (we) already pay good money to get (reserves) players.
‘‘We’re finding quality players out of Melbourne for half the price.
‘‘It’s not ideal in regards to training but you will find most country sides have blokes out of Melbourne, that’s just the way country footy is right now.’’
Among the new players are Panton Hill pair Simon Amore and Abe Williams (brother of Leitchville-Gunbower’s Jake Williams), while Eltham loses Ryan Hocking and 2013 best and fairest winner Brad Perry.
Steve Pretty, 2013 runner-up best and fairest at Pascoe Vale in the Essendon and District Football League, will also make the weekly trip north, along with Banyule and Vic Metro representatives Bartholomew Walsh and Jake Truefeldt.
Shadbolt said Hocking and Pretty were key position players while the others would bolster the club’s midfield stocks.
‘‘We lacked depth last season and battled with a few injuries so we’ve targeted players to fill certain roles for us,’’ the coach said.
‘‘They’ve all played a good standard of footy down (in Melbourne) and we’re keen for them to get a taste for country footy and what it’s all about.
‘‘I think everyone is hungry for a bit more success after getting a taste for it last season.
‘‘We under achieved last year but we think we’ve recruited the right blokes to mix it with the top sides.’’
The Bombers have signed at least one local, with Wakool premiership player Lee Pollock joining the club, while Joel Helman (Bendigo Pioneers) and Will Brereton (Assumption College) have committed to full seasons after an interrupted 2013.
The sky is the limit for Wanganui Year 12 VCAL student Leigh Polan, 18, who decided to create two posters examining birdlife around the school.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
An ad for the Healthy Ageing Project will be filmed in Echuca, Rushworth and Rochester today.
More than $15,000 was raised at a family day on Sunday. The event was to raise money for the families of Barry Purtell and Dave Lobb.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
Murray Irrigation to search for new boss after Anthony Couroupis finishes with the company.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
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