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.
Water has been returned to Kinnairds and Black wetlands to help with their revitalisation after bushfire damaged them in February.
More than 2200 people have signed up to show their support for a campaign to have the green route chosen for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
Matches were split up over Good Friday and Easter Saturday throughout the region.
Painter Ben Winspear and Scott Wileman will create new works as the public look on during the at Rochester Art Exhibition.
Kyabram Bombers have the chance to beat Rochester under light for the first time this Friday evening.
Lions star recruit had a tough introduction to the GVFL.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
Eighty residents at a forum determined the Heathcote Community Plan was on track but need some fine tuning.
Cobram skate park hosts skateboarding and music for youth week.
Senior state minister Adrian Piccoli reaquainted himself with Deniliquin yesterday, leaving Deniliquin Counil hopeful it has an ally in him.
With his blue eyes and snow-coloured coat, Nanneella horse Sinatra has looks worthy of a fairytale.
Fourteen-year-old Benalla girl Jaimee Linke will launch her debut novel next month.
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