Gus’ sporting snapshots | Kyabram Free Press

Out: Kyabram forward Kayne Pettifer will be available for the last home and away game of the season after a two-week suspension. Photo by None

Kyabram Football Club’s man of the hour Lachie Smith is going nowhere in 2023.

Before sinking his former team Benalla with an 11-goal attack on Saturday, Smith slammed rumors he could be on the move next year with an emphatic ‘why would I leave Kyabram? I just love it here.”

In a memorable 100th game milestone with the club, Smith finished 11 goals, five behind. He also had direct assists in two or three other goals that day for the Bombers.

Smith was a member of Benalla’s Premiership team that defeated Kyabram for the GVL flag in 2015, moving to the Bombers the following season and enjoying Premiership glory once again. He was also in Kyabram’s Premier League in 2017 and 2019.

Try via video

A video trial has cost Kyabram veteran Kayne Pettifer a two-game ban.

Pettifer had to face the tribunal last week after the Match Review Panel cautioned Pettifer for rough behavior against Echuca’s Andrew Walker in the July 30 game in Echuca.

The Bombers decided not to contest the penalty and Pettifer missed Saturday’s game against Benalla and will also sit out this Saturday’s crucial clash against Mansfield at Mansfield.

Ace goalscorer Kyle Mueller, who received a two-week ban from a high-profile charge in the last clash against Seymour, has served his ban and will be available for the Mansfield game.

Winning team in the final

I’m not sure when, but it’s probably happened before – a team that’s gone both seasons without a win will still play finals.

Undera’s U18 players have lost all 14 matches in Kyabram league this season, but as there were only eight teams in the competition, they qualified for the finals.

I wish the Undera U18s the best of luck in at least picking a team when six other teams couldn’t. Unfortunately, this just goes to show how difficult country football is right now.

Formosa’s tough job

The toughest job in country football is taken.

Longwood Football Club has appointed a new manager for the next two seasons and he has no illusions about the task ahead.

Jordan Formosa has edged out several other applicants willing to take on the job after a social media campaign by the club to fill the position.

Formosa replaces Mick Galvin, who took the job before 2019 when the club’s ranks were decimated with the departure of 19 older players.

Galvin, who, along with tireless club president Ricky Shiner, is given much credit for keeping the club afloat, has resigned for personal reasons.

Formosa currently plays for Bendigo League powerhouse Stathfieldsaye.

He has coaching experience and led Heathcote League side Huntly’s U18 side through an unbeaten season last year.

Formosa’s willingness to accept the job and develop his young talents, and realizing how much a football/netball club means to a community, tipped the job in his favor.

And another big plus is that he’s working to bring in some high-quality recruits – as many as 15 – to the club, which he’ll likely need to become competitive and give the success-hungry club some victories for the first time since 2019.

Goodbye ‘garnet’

The former footballers of my GVL days would know Garnard (“Garnet”) Boyd, who left us last week.

Garnet was a smooth player at Shepparton United in the late 1950s and early 60s.

Coach newly appointed

Murray Football League clubs Moama and Numurkah have reappointed coaches for next season.

Moama is sticking with Sam Sheldon, the former Kyabram Premiership player and ex-Brisbane Bears utility who is in his second tenure as manager of the Magpies and has guided them to the Finals which begin this weekend.

Numurkah has remained with Shaun Harrop, who coached Shepparton to the Goulburn Valley flag in 2018, when Kyabram’s Victorian record streak of 64 straight wins ended.

Cleeland Waaia Trainers

Picola Football League club Waaia have named Mitch Cleeland as their new manager.

It came as no great surprise as Cleeland was an assistant to Mark Meyland that season and was included in the club’s succession plans as manager.

Meyland, a Waaia legend, has played over 250 games for the club and is in his third year as manager.

With just one loss this season, Meyland and Cleeland are now busy focusing on a serious win in this season’s flag qualifier against Strathmerton at Blighty.

Cleeland is also a fine all-around cricketer with the Waaia club in the Cricket Shepparton competition and a son of Mick Cleeland whose booming goal after the final whistle propelled Waaia to prime minister in 2005 – the club’s last flag – who entered country football -Folk is engraved.

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