Otway Districts football coach Zach Hickleton says he is confident the club’s recruits can fill the void of reigning best-and-fairest Alex Burnett if he moves interstate.
Hickleton said up-and-coming midfielder Burnett was considering shifting to Queensland in 2019.
This year’s Max Gray Memorial winner and 2017 Otway best-and-fairest Dylan Clissold is also expected to train with the Colac Tigers during the pre-season with the potential of moving to the Geelong league ranks next year.
Departing coach Tom Mullane-Grant is the only confirmed out after the champion goalkicker took on a mentoring role at Bright in the state’s north-east.
But the Demons have landed three new footballers, and Hickleton said former Bell Park defender Lachie Buyel had committed to a full season in 2019 after playing a limited role this year.
Billy McIntosh and Kyle Rollo have crossed from Hickleton’s former club Bannockburn, while Otway has also landed Jack Fielden, who gained senior GFL experience with Lara this year.
Hickleton has coached Rollo and McIntosh at junior level, and he said he had promising feedback from Lara officials about Fielden.
Hickleton, who is entering his fourth season at the club, said all three were under 21 and had the potential of playing in the midfield, while adding depth in other areas on the ground.
“Bringing in young blokes was a key with our recruiting, we didn’t want to go out and get players over 30, with these guys we can hopefully get a few years out of them,” he said.
See Today’s Colac Herald for more.