Violet Town premiership coach Hayden Lamaro is confident his side will still be ‘‘really competitive’’ despite losing star trio Russell Lee, Craig Whelan and Jake Williams.MARC MCGOWAN December 5, 2012 4:05am
Violet Town premiership coach Hayden Lamaro is confident his side will still be ‘‘really competitive’’ despite losing star trio Russell Lee, Craig Whelan and Jake Williams.
Lee, Whelan and Williams accepted big-money offers to join Heathcote District Football League club Leitchville-Gunbower, which finished last with just one win last season.
Lee won Kyabram District league’s highest individual honour, the McNamara Medal, in his first year at the Towners this year.
His best friend and former Mooroopna teammate Whelan broke the league’s home-and-away season goal-kicking record and finished with 168 majors, while Williams was best afield in Violet Town’s 76-point grand final win over Undera.
Lee said on Twitter yesterday he had rejected the Bombers’ overtures three times before signing, but was looking forward to working with their developing list.
‘‘(It was) such a tough call said no 3 times b4 said yes. VT gr8 club and hopefully they can replace us,’’ Lee tweeted.
‘‘Life goes on and new challenges arise.’’
Lee, Whelan and Williams join fellow premiership players Dale Saddington and Ben Tsakmakis, who will play at Whittlesea, in departing the Towners.
But Lamaro said his four recruits to date — Pascoe Vale ruckman Josh Williams and Benalla All Blacks centre half-forward Kane Dockery, on-baller Mick Wright and centre half-back Joel Hearn — were ‘‘A-graders’’.
Hearn, who won the best-on-ground medal for shutting down Shepparton East forward Jason Traianidis in Tungamah’s Picola District Football League south-east premiership three years ago, is the latest newcomer.
Josh Dunne also returns after taking last season off because of work commitments.
Lamaro instigated discussions with a ‘‘real quality’’ key forward and a midfielder once Lee, Whelan and Williams told him they were leaving on Monday.
‘‘It brings us back to the field a fair bit, but, in saying that, the four guys we’ve been able to recruit so far will play a pretty big role,’’ Lamaro said.
‘‘But we’re speaking to some really good players from down this way who we feel are more than capable of filling their roles.’’
Leitchville-Gunbower football operations manager Col Hay did not return The News’ calls.
Lamaro said Lee was honest with him about the situation and Williams, in particular, felt he had let the club down in not giving it another year after an injury-riddled campaign.
‘‘(Williams) has a baby and runs his own business
‘‘It’s disappointing for the club, but what do you do? We’re not even in the ballpark.
‘‘You don’t hold them to ransom. They played a good role, got us to a flag and all that sort of stuff and we can see where they’re coming from, too.
‘‘It’s too big of an opportunity for them to knock back.’’
Lamaro said the likes of Ben Power, Daniel Sage, Tim Ross and Dockery would ensure Violet Town still had a ‘‘potent’’ forward line.
A local driver took the sign ‘‘drive through’’ a bit too seriously on Monday night when he crashed into the Cricketers Arms Hotel bottle shop at Mooroopna about 8pm.
In a tight tense affair, the Yarrawonga Pigeons have defeated the Wodonga Bulldogs by 28 points at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga.
Tatura Community House held its annual High Tea fundraiser at the facility on Tuesday, with a full-house present to enjoy a sumptuous morning tea, good conversation and relaxing time together.
Sam Lowndes might have been the youngest member of the North-Eastern Knights under 13 hockey side, but he still made a big impact at the Junior State Hockey Championships in Melbourne last week.
Rochester Historical and Pioneer Society hosted an afternoon tea to recognise long-standing members Barrie and Flora Griffin and John and Margaret Harley.
Last quarter saves potential calamity
Seymour Lions score a close win against Echuca
Scores of local farmers and concerned community groups will travel to Barham today to protest the Murray Darling Basin Plan in front of key Senators and Members of Parliament.
A planning scheme amendment to allow the expansion and redevelopment of the IGA supermarket at Heathcote has been approved by the Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne.
Last week work began on dismantling the historic Cobram Saleyards, marking the end of an era.
An exciting three-hole playoff saw Virginia Lange take a narrow win in the Deniliquin Ladies Golf Championship last Thursday.
The second annual National Herd Development Victorian Winter Fair was in action at the Bendigo Exhibition Centre last Wednesday and Thursday.
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