Kyabram Football Club has completed its coaching panel for the 2017 season, naming its reserves and thirds coaches late last week.
Club stalwart Mark Dillon will be the reserves coach while club premiership captain and legend Tony McDonell will again be in charge of the thirds with another respected former Kyabram player Brad Mueller as his deputy again.
Dillon takes over from Jarrod Chapman who didn’t seek reappointment.
The Dillon family has been Kyabram Football Club stalwarts for 60 years with Mark’s father, Brian, a long serving club player in the 1950s and a member of the Bombers’ 1958 premiership side.
Dillon has been an assistant coach at Undera and has a 10-year stint coaching at junior level with the St Augustine’s Junior Football Club.
Dillon said he would like to think the Goulburn Valley Football League seconds competition can be promoted to be the second best league in the area and a main platform to launch senior careers.
Tony McDonell needs no introduction to Kyabram fans and has a wealth of coaching experience with two stints with the Kyabram thirds. He is also a premiership coach of Kyabram District league club Lancaster.
The Kyabram thirds finished third under the McDonell-Mueller team this season, losing its preliminary final to the eventual premiers Shepparton United by just six points.
‘‘The applicants for the thirds position were all outstanding and it made it very hard to make a decision,’’ club president Peter Croxford said this week.
‘‘We deliberated for three days before making the decision but we felt Rusty (McDonell) deserved the job again.’’
McDonell said he was happy to get the position again and was enjoying coaching at this level and with his main focus on trying to produce future senior players for the cub.
Flames warm to T20 title
Kyabram Fire Brigade Cricket Club will be chasing the Goulburn Murray Cricket’s T20 title tomorrow night at Rochester.
The Flames will boost their ranks for the game, recruiting Kyabram’s young batsmen Cade Mueller and English import Harris Carnegie plus Cricket Shepparton’s Nick Breslin for the clash.
The Flames line up against defending champion Echuca in the decider.
The game starts at 5.30pm at Windridge Oval, Rochester.
Echuca exports return home
Echuca Football Club has gained another star recruit for 2017 with former Carlton star Andrew Walker committing to playing with the Murray Bombers.
A 200-game AFL player with the Blues, Walker will join another home grown product Ruory Kirkby in returning to finish their careers at their junior club.
Walker may not play regularly as he is also Carlton’s development and integration coach.
Walker and Kirkby will certainly add some goal scoring power to Echuca’s forward line.
Experienced Lion returns to guide cubs
Seymour Football Club will have a former star player coaching its thirds team this season.
Rick Hagar has taken on the job and is looking forward to it after being away from the game in which he had a brief but brilliant playing career.
He retired through injury at 22, but not before making his mark as a player representing the Goulburn Valley Football League in 1984 when it won the country championship.
It is not the first time Hagar has coached the Lions thirds, performing that role for a season more than 20 years ago.
Top Saints flock to All Blacks
Up to eight Benalla Saints players will be crossing to town rival minor league club Benalla All Blacks for the 2017 season.
They include premiership player and best and fairest winner Al Jacka and Chris Lockhart.
Benalla Saints are also losing other star players in Morrison Medallist Will Martinello, Farran Priest and Josh Marchbank.
Martinello will play with Essendon District League club Maribyrnong Park, elusive small man Priest is joining his brother Rowan at Echuca United while skyscraper Marchbank, who played a matchwinning role in Benalla’s 2015 premiership win against Kyabram, is headed for Northern District League club Diamond Valley.
Bulldogs welcome new recruits
Tatura Football Club hasn’t been idle on the recruiting scene.
The Bulldogs will have a former key player in Chris Ryan back with the club this year and is bringing Golden Square teammate from last season, Che Walls, with him. Walls played with the Bendigo Pioneers as a teenager and can play anywhere.
James Sullivan, a 2012 premiership player with the club, is also returning after spending the last two seasons with VFL Club Box Hill.
Tatura has also picked up Murchison players Jamie Jones and Shane Kay and young Lancaster players Colby and Bryce McDonald.
Berrigan appoints Schmidt
Berrigan Football Club has appointed an experienced campaigner to coach the side next season.
Noted goal kicker Lee Schmidt, 29, has taken on the role and brings a wealth of experience with stints at South Australian League club South Adelaide and 130 games with Ovens and Murray League club, Corowa-Rutherglen.
Johnson’s Pleasant promotion
Former Rushworth coach Matt Johnson will coach Heathcote Football League club Mount Pleasant next season.
Johnson has coached the Mount Pleasant reserves for the past two seasons and has declared all spots in the senior side ‘‘up for grabs’’ and will have to be earned.
Johnson coached Rushworth in 2010.