Coming & Going, see who’s playing where in 2023

Posted on - Latest News, Featured

With just over a month away from the 2023 VAFA football season commencing, VAFA Media is helping you take note of the players that will be joining selected sides in the men’s competition from Premier B to Division 4.

There have been wholesale changes to the Beaumaris line-up since the devastating loss in the Premier B Preliminary Final in 2022.

Guy McKenna is out as senior coach, replaced by Josh Bourke. Bourke will be supported by Mick Lovejoy, Nick Moodie and former Saint, Stephen Milne returns to Shark park.

The recruits are almost endless at Beaumaris with Sam Roberts a former Cheltneham Panther and Old Mentonian who is keen to challenge himself at a higher level. Ben Hempel is a Sandringham Dragons and Vic Metro Player who has completed the VFL preseason.

Jimmy Freeman joins from Balwyn FC. Jimmy is a former Sandringham VFL player and Dandenong Stingray. This is a significant recruiting achievement as Jimmy comes highly regarded as a player with outstanding footballing talent.

Brandan Young is a key position player with West Coast in the WAFL, Logan Young is a Sandringham Dragons player who also played with the West Coast WAFL team last year. Looking to return from an ACL injury and excited to join the club.

Joey Nowell has left Ormond to play higher honours in Premier B, and Kai Owens, another Old Mentionians product has joined the Sharks, Owens is likely to spend much of this season with Frankston in the VFL and like Kye Turner, and Brodie McLaughlin before him is hopeful of a spot on an AFL list.

Max Williams is a former Sharks player who has also been playing with Frankston in the VFL. Max is locked and loaded and looking forward to coming ‘home’.

The boys of Como Park will compete in Premier B in 2023.

They’ll do so with a St Kevin’s premiership player in Sam Barnett running out in the club colours. Barnett joins the OGS after winning the 2018 premiership in William Buck Premier. He was part of the 2021 runners up side, and spent time with Footscray in the VFL.

Should Hudson Garoni be told by Werribee in the VFL this year to have a rest, or come back from an injury through his feeder side, then Nathan Brown will have a field day utilising his services.

Garoni rarely misses games, and rarely misses goals, he is a wonderful set-shot in front of the sticks. He has opted to make Old Geelong his feeder club in 2023, and move away from the Ovens and Murray League.

It’s been slim pickings for the Snowdogs since the 2018 Premier B Premiership. The club stabilised in William Buck Premier in 2019, before Mark ‘Bomber’ Riley stood down as coach.

Western Bulldogs AFLW Premiership coach Paul Groves took the reins, and made the decision to stand down at the end of 2022 with the club being relegated to Premier B.

As the club transitions into its next generation, it will celebrate its 60th anniversary with Essendon premiership player Steven Allesio as the coach. Son Luca Allesio comes across from the EDFL to join forces.

The club is also pleased to announce Ben Ronke, one of the youngest players on the ground when they claimed the 2015 A-Grade Premiership has linked up again should he miss VFL football with Carlton.

Ronke lit up the MCG on a Friday night to earn a rising star nomination with a bag of seven against Hawthorn. Should he return to the snakepit in 2023, they will be hopeful of a similar outcome. No pressure Ben.

 

It’s fair to say that Marcellin Old Boys Instagram feed was trending early last week when the club announced former Magpie, Callum Brown has joined the club.

Brown spent the pre-season pushing for a spot on Adelaide’s SSP list before ultimately missing out on the opportunity. He has signed with Box Hill in the VFL. Cal made his First XVIII debut for Marcellin College in 2014 as a Year 10 student, in which he was an integral part of the 2015 and 2016 AGSV Premierships.

The product of Marcellin College is likely to play most weekends in the VFL side, but should the opportunity arise to play with his former school you can bet your bottom dollar he’ll be bouncing off the walls with pride to take centre stage at a ground he will know so well.

His skill, experience and personality will be a significant asset to the football club and we are excited to welcome him into the Eagles community.

The Rovers wasted no time announcing their biggest off-season recruit with Clinton Young signing on the dotted line in early January.

Young, a Premiership player with Hawthorn in 2008.​​ The former AFL midfielder/forward played 116 games for the Hawks from 2005 to 2012 and a further 21 games for Collingwood up until 2015. He kicked 69 goals in his 137-game career.

More recently, he has played and coached at Gisborne in the Bendigo Football League, however after moving into the area, he’ll now suit up in the green & gold at Boss James Reserve this season.

The Rovers have also secured former North Melbourne footballer Will Walker who will be at the club full time this season after four years in the AFL system and a year in the VFL. Austin Parker also returns to the Rovers where he won an U17 premiership in 2019. Parker comes from Old Mentonians where he played 20 senior games last season and previously won an U19 best and fairest.

When scrolling through the VAFA player transfer list, alongside the club name of Old Ivanhoe, there’s a very familiar name to fans of North Melbourne and Port Adelaide – Byron Pickett.

No, the 2004 Norm Smith Medallist hasn’t come out of retirement to pull the boots on for one last Michael Jordan style dance. His son, Byron Pickett Junior is making his way to the big smoke from the SANFL Juniors to potentially put his name in lights in front of Victorian recruiters.

The younger Pickett has lit it up over in Adelaide, and could well be on the verge of a spot at Arden St if he plays his cards right in 2023.

Reed Jepson has joined the boys at Chelsworth Park. The club is also pleased to welcome Nick Riddle across from Greensborough. Riddle at one stage was also the captain of the Collingwood VFL side.

And, to add to the VFL depth of the club, Billy Murphy has ended his VFL career with the Northern Bullants to focus on other opportunities which will allow him to spend most Saturdays in the brown and white.

The Panthers have had a tough time of things since the 2018 B-Grade Grand Final loss to St Bernard’s. Since that day the club has won just five games, and lost 40. In 2023, they will play in Premier C with big points to prove.

Marc Lock, a favourite son of the club returns after spending two seasons in the EDFL. With over 100 games of VFL experience, he’ll be able to weather many a storm across the half back line and the midfield.

When it comes to VFL experience, the Panthers have also welcomed Mitch Woofindin. The Port Melbourne stalwart famously kicked the final goal of the 2017 VFL grand final to put his side in front against Richmond.

Coach Aaron Bailey is one of many who’s excited about Woof joining the club “Mitch will bring professionalism and experience to our developing group, and we can’t wait to see him in the black, gold and blue”

Danyon Reinbold returns to the club, last playing with Carey in 2019. Going the other way the club was pleased to congratulate Anthony Caminiti who secured a spot on the Saints list over the off-season.

The Monders will start 2023 a week later than the rest of Premier C with Old Mentonians withdrawing their senior side.

This will add additional hunger to new recruits Howard Perrson and Doulton Langlands.

Perrson heads home to EE Gunn Reserve where he once played his junior football. Since then he’s spent time at Sandringham Dragons, Footscray in the VFL and more recently with De La Salle in William Buck Premier & Premier B. His brother Oscar is the clubs senior assistant coach and enjoying a seamless transition into the squad.

Langlands played three AFL matches with St Kilda in 2019. He spent three years on the Saints list, kicking two goals. The Albury product has spent time in the GWS Academy, Sandringham in the VFL and playing with Perth in the WAFL, and Albury in 2022.

The upside to Langlands is enormous and will provide headaches to many opposition coaches in Premier C in 2023.

The club has bid farewell to Joseph Nowell, after 18 games across two seasons. He has climbed up to Premier B to play with Beaumaris.

The Wellers were the unlikely climbers in 2022. Finishing fourth at the end of the home and away season, Old Camberwell advanced to the Division 1 Grand Final with back-to-back wins in knockout finals.

Falling short to PEGS on Grand Final Day, the Division 1 favourites is nothing to be ashamed about. The off-season has allowed them to regroup ahead of the season in Premier C, a place they haven’t been for over a decade.
Jay Kennedy-Harris, the former Demon, has left University Blues and joined the Wellers. Kennedy-Harris has battled through soft-tissue and shoulder injuries in recent years. He is an excitement machine when he gets out on the field, and is capable of making opposition players look silly such is his class with the sherrin.

David McColl heads home to Gordon Barnard Reserve, leaving at the end of 2019 to play with Old Carey, in 2023 he’ll be with his junior side, playing against his old Panthers teammates.

The Magpies were the most dominant side in Division 2 throughout 2022, but Grand Final day, had to use every bit of experience, and nouse they had to get over a fierce West Brunswick.

As they come up to Division 1, incoming coach Wayne Schultz will have to dig deep into his bag of tricks if the Hoers are to be successful in 2023.

Senior coach Ash Close has accepted a coaching job with Eastern Ranges women’s NAB Cup team, but has committed to remaining as a playing assistant coach for Ivanhoe in Division 1.

The club will need to find someone to stand in place of Billy Drake who has joined the EDFL. Drake finished second in the competition’s goalkickers with 61 for the season. Vivian Blackmore-Moore is heading over to the Northern Football League. Nic Carter is off to Central Highlands.

Much publicised recruit Scott Selwood has put in a transfer to join the North Tasmanian League, but that has been denied. Stefan Zervides returns to the club he has represented 70 times, last playing in 2019.

Kyle Earl joins the club from the Adelaide Football League. And, after four years with Old Ivanhoe, Ethan Hunt has crossed the street and will change from brown and white, to black and white in 2023.

The Falcons will enter the 2023 season as the Division 4 Men’s outsiders. Contending against the likes of St Johns, Masala-Dandenong and North Brunswick. The man with maybe the new best name in the VAFA, Felix Metz from the Tallangatta & District Football League will call Oval 20 at Albert Park home.

Drew Pearman is a fierce on-baller who is likely to get attention from opposition players throughout the season, and crossing the ditch is Hunter Harding.

According to the club Harding is a “big athletic operator.” He is a former rugby player, and this year has swapped over to the sherrin.

Thomas Smith has left the Falcons, hoping to break into the Ormond side in Premier C.

For the full list of incoming and outgoing players, click here.