Changes coming for grand finalists

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
North Albany's Jesse Wynne will be a big loss for the Kangas as they chase a fifth straight premiership this season.
Camera IconNorth Albany's Jesse Wynne will be a big loss for the Kangas as they chase a fifth straight premiership this season. Credit: Laurie Benson

Grand finalists North Albany and Royals appear set for big changes ahead of the new Great Southern Football League season, with both losing some key players from last year’s line-ups.

The Kangas won a fourth straight league title last season but their quest for a record fifth successive flag will be made without premiership trio Jesse Wynne, Corey Hitchcock and Jack Steel.

Wynne has joined East Fremantle, playing in the first two rounds of the WAFL reserves, while Hitchcock has joined Claremont’s senior list.

Steel has moved to Perth and will play in the WA Amateur Football League this season, while star forward Jack Becroft, who suffered a season-ending knee injury mid-year and missed the grand final triumph, has been cleared to WAFL club Perth, where he has a place on the Demons’ senior list.

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Fellow Kangas premiership player Tom Bigwood was last week approved in the clearances to the Lower South West Football League.

The Lions are set to have a vastly different side in round 1 against Mt Barker on April 21 from the one that ran out in the grand final.

Youngsters Tyron Smallwood, Tom Baldwin, Corey Linthorne and Hamish McMorran, who all played in their grand final side, have moved to Claremont, while tall forward Peter Mark and Ben Gray are other looming omissions for the Lions.

However, a clearance for key ball winner Corey Byrne has been lodged by the Lions after he played one season with the Bulls, and former Claremont colt Michael Offerman has also returned to his home club.

Andrew Ruck, who played 74 WAFL league games with Claremont, and defender Na-than Small are expected to be additions to the Lions’ senior side in 2018.

Denmark-Walpole have confirmed Kadan King-Davies has left and will play in the Mort-lock Football League.

The Bulls’ losses so far include Russell Wynne (East Fremantle) along with Jake and Corey Byrne, while spearhead Daniel Parker is returning.

Railways have recruited former Peel player Mitch Green and young midfielder Jayden Scott from Gnowangerup in the Ongerup Football Association.

Albany have a number of omissions as well, including James Eaton and Etienne Vorster, while Zamahl Bin Busu and Shaquielle Narrier have also been cleared to other leagues.

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