KYABRAM Football Club has probably seen the last of premiership heroes power ruckman Jake Reeves and key forward Billy Burstin.
Coach Paul Newman confirmed this week both players were sick of travelling and wouldn’t be returning in 2018.
Reeves is based in Geelong and Burstin in Melbourne.
Burstin will join former Kyabram teammates Chris Atkins and Josh Linton at the Sunshine Football Club next year.
Other star Kyabram premiership players Lachie Smith and Rhys Clark have decided on their new clubs for the 2018 season.
Smith, who missed out on the national rookies draft, will have a final fling at making AFL football via Footscray’s VFL side, while Clark has joined Gold Coast club Southport where former Seymour and Tatura premiership coach and GVL coach Steve Daniel is in charge.
Smith was tossing up between Footscray and Geelong to pursue an AFL career.
Kyabram has also lost its long serving skipper Josh Vick through retirement while former thirds player Eamonn Ogden —who has been making his mark in the Essendon and District Football League for the past two seasons — has had a change of mind about returning and will continue his career with the Keilor Football Club.
So the only notable new face at Kyabram will be Nathalia premiership small forward Bailey Bell.
But coach Newman is still confident Kyabram can make a bold bid to rewrite the club’s history book and be only the second side to win a hat-trick of GVL premierships. The first and last time that happened was in the 1920s.
‘‘I think with our current core of experienced players, the natural improvement of our talented players in the 19 to 24 age group and some talented players coming up from the thirds ready to step up, we will be very competitive again. I’m pretty confident about that.’’
The Bombers had good numbers at training last week and trained again on Monday night with further sessions tonight and Friday before a break over the festive season.
After Friday night’s session there will be a social Christmas event with all supporters welcome to attend.
LG wins T20 crown
THE recent Goulburn Murray Cricket T20 competition produced a surprise result — it was won by a team not even competing in the GM competition.
Leitchville-Gunbower added the T20 crown to the football premiership it won in the Heathcote District Football League competition this season when the semi-finals and final was staged at Rochester last Sunday week.
Competing in the competition by invitation, LG accounted for GM heavyweights Rochester United in a semi-final and then Moama in the final to raise a few eyebrows.
■ Captain Kurt Brereton said his all-locals team’s aim entering the competition was to be competitive — and it certainly achieved that.
■ LG competes in the Northern Districts Cricket Association, fielding teams in the five-teams A grade competition where it currently holds second spot behind Cohuna United and also in the seven-side B grade competition where it currently also occupies a top four spot.
Gannon could join Echuca’s side
ECHUCA could well have the recruit of the year as it continues its bid to make its mark in the GVL football next season.
The latest pick-up for the Murray Bombers is Shaun Gannon, one of the elite players from the strong outer Melbourne’s Northern Football League club, West Preston-Lakeside.
With four club best and fairest in that competition, he is expected to have few problems establishing himself as a marquee player on the GVL scene. With another recruit in former Essendon VFL player Matt Dornauf to join dual Morrison Medallist Simon Buckley in the midfield, Echuca can make a sound case to having as good as midfield as there will be in the league next season.
Ikupu returns to Magpies nest
EUROA Football Club will have a familiar face as a new recruit in the 2018 season.
Big ruckman-forward John Ikupu is returning to the Magpies nest after spending this year playing with Warragul Industries in the Ellibank District Football League. He formerly played for Euroa in 2015 and 2016 and was one of the league’s better big men.
Euroa will also have Williamstown and former Ballarat player Oliver Tate on its list and key defender Adrian Karatzas, who played just the one game with the club this season before pursuing studies in America.
Shepparton East midfielder James Chittick is also lining up with Euroa whose major losses are brothers Brock and Trent Storer who are heading for Tyntynder in the Central Murray League and Rob Wilson who will line-up with Kyabram League club Violet Town.
Blackmore produces great win
KYABRAM trainer Mick Blackmore produced well bred trotter Jackson Square for an impressive first-up win at last Friday’s Yarra Valley trots meeting.
The four-year-old son of Bicardi Lindy had not raced since early August but was a winner in a six starts three-year-old season in which he was a finalist in the Vicbred Super Series won by Deltasun.
Blackmore was confident Jackson Square would be up to his ears for his comeback race after some impressive Shepparton trial form and punters had him a $3.40 second favourite in the race in which he was driven by John Caldow.
From barrier one Caldow had Jackson Square on the back of the pacemaker Sumo Grin during the run and with a 58.8 last half and 2.02.1 mile rate for the 2150m trip he ran away from his rivals untouched in the concluding stages.
Out of the former talented racemare Front And Square and a half brother to the former extra smart trotting mare Majestic Grace, Jackson Square was bred and is owned by Stanhope trots stalwart Mac Poole.
Winkanditsover gets win and PB
A GROUP of Kyabram trots owners also celebrated a win last week when promising pacer Winkanditsover saluted at the Bendigo meeting last Thursday night.
Trained by Shepparton’s Steve Duffy and driven by his son Ryan, the four-year-old gave his rivals a good old spanking, winning a C1 Only class race by nearly 25 metres.
Winkanditsover did some work to get outside the leader early in the race and got no favours in the run but still careered away on the home bend to record a PB mile rate of 1.57.9 in notching his fourth career win from just 17 starts.
Since returning from a five races winless campaign at Globe Derby during the Spring, Winkanditsover has now two races and finished second in the other which is a feather in the cap of new trainer Steve Duffy.
Winkanditsover is raced by the Kyabram sporting syndicate of Peter Hall, Rob Whitford, Tony Hansen and John Lilford.