New Benalla coach Luke Morgan has not given up hope that reigning best-and-fairest Alistair Jacka will turn out for the Saints this year.PATRICK O'MEARA January 10, 2013 4:05am
New Benalla coach Luke Morgan has not given up hope that reigning best-and-fairest Alistair Jacka will turn out for the Saints this year.
Jacka, who had a breakout Goulburn Valley Football League season highlighted by interleague selection, is being courted by reigning North East Australian Football League eastern conference premier Queanbeyan Tigers.
The goal-kicking midfielder has indicated to the Saints that a move to the Tigers, who are coached by his former Murray Bushrangers teammate Kade Klemke, could be on the cards.
The Tigers’ website has already reported he has signed.
Morgan said he was hopeful Jacka would remain with the Saints.
‘‘At the moment it is not looking good, but we are still hopeful that he will remain a Benalla player this year,’’ Morgan said.
‘‘He has been in talks with them (Queanbeyan), but he is still training with us, he isn’t planning to make a move for a couple of months and it is basically just in limbo at the moment.’’
Morgan said if Jacka did shift to the NSW-based club it would be a major blow to the Saints.
‘‘It would be a massive loss,’’ he said.
‘‘He is our reigning best-and-fairest and is a real quality member of our side, not just on the field, but off it as well.
‘‘But it is up to him, if he decides that it is best for him to head up there then that is his choice.’’
The potential defection comes as a further hit in the wake of 2011 best-and-fairest Brady Green opting to join the Saints’ Goulburn Valley league rivals Rochester, instead of returning to his home club.
But it is not all bad news at Benalla Showgrounds.
Murray Bushrangers best-and-fairest and Victoria Country representative Sam Martyn has committed to the club for this season.
Martyn, who was on AFL clubs’ radars after attending the state Draft Combine, had fielded offers from state league clubs before pledging his commitment to the Saints.
‘‘He is only a 19-year-old, but he is a really mature footballer,’’ Morgan said.
‘‘He will really create some damage this year.’’
Morgan said he was excited at the prospect of Martyn heading the Saints’ younger brigade, along with Nick Warnock, Jordan Wolff, Jake Palpratt and Harry Moran.
He said 12 of 13 Saints players coming out of their minor premiership winning under-18s team had also committed to the club.
It adds to the recruitment of delisted Collingwood rookie Lachie Smith, Tungamah’s Duane Haebich, Finley’s Jordan Daniel and Assumption College’s Alex Hay.
Morgan said the club was still in discussions with several potential recruits.
Nathalia Secondary College principal John Sciacca will speak at Cool Heads tomorrow night about the night he came across the crash that killed Year 10 student Jess Hearn.
In a surprise announcement this morning the Burramine Sports Club has said there will be no Burramine Gift in 2015.
The Tatura and district Catholic community will celebrate the 51st staging of the Feast of St Donato on Saturday, August 2.
More than $30,000 was raised for the James McQuillan Future Fund through a nearest the pin competition at Moama Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
Shavanna Coghill, Harvey Keating, Nate MacFarlane and Holly Scoble were among children who enjoyed the first community playgroup in Rochester on Monday.
Lancaster Football Netball Club makes all families welcome.
St Mary's College staff member Rhonda Tallnash declared Queensland bush poet female champion.
Jerilderie thumped Yarroweyah by 185 points on Saturday with star forward Aaron Purcell leading the charge.
Heathcote landfill is open until Sunday for the free disposal of e-waste.
Barooga Lions Club's stalwart of deb balls calls it a day after 17 years of service.
The Deniliquin Wetlands Restoration Community Project has restored the balance to the Deniliquin lagoon system.
Tackling salinity in the Goulburn-Broken basin was a key element of a presentation made to an international forum in the United States last month.
The garden is the work of more than 100 people and has taken more than a decade to complete. Aboriginal community devleopment worker Chris Thorne shared stories of Benalla's Indigenous heritage.
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