Nullawil keen to mark successful move to North Central


AFTER premiership success in the Golden Rivers senior footy competition, Nullawil is keen to mark a successful move to the Goldacres North Central FNL in 2023.

The Brett Barker-coached Nullawil faces a tough start against reigning NCFL premier Birchip Watchem in round one on April 15.

It’s a rarity that two premiers from a previous year meet in an opening round.

The Maroons and Bulls will clash on Birchip-Watchem’s turf at Birchip’s George Cartwright Oval.

Key recruits for Nullawil include on-baller Sam Stephens who was on Werribee’s list in the VFL; Adam and Mark Thomson from Mildura; Lucas and Zachary Caccaviello, Nick Grigg, Will Hogan, Dean Smith, and Jarrod Taylor.

Austin Hogan is also back at the club.

In last year’s grand final, Mitch Farmer and Andrew Oberdorfer kicked four and three goals as Nullawil beat Moulamin by 68 points.

Both will play key roles again, along with Andrew Casey, Patrick Kelly, Dean Putt and Matt Quigley.

A talented squad includes Grant Ford who previously played at Heathcote, Newbridge, Kangaroo Flat, Bendigo Bombers, and Bendigo Pioneers.

Nullawil’s coaching panel is Brett Barker, seniors; James Barker, reserves; Zac Kelly and Daniel Watts, under-17s; Dale Poyner and David Watts, under-14s.

Birchip-Watchem was also busy recruiting.

Key players for the Trevor Ryan-coached team in the run to last year’s premiership included ruckman Lochlan Sirett, Nathan Gordon, Daniel Castellano, Lachlan Ryan and captain Dale Hinkley.

Newcomers to the Bulls’ squad include Daniel and Thomas Batarilo, Jos Builder, Ben Christodoulou, Bodie Colbert, Ben Edwards, Matthew Finster, Thomas Jones, Kody Leith, and Nicholas Rippon.

Premiership winner Riley Hogan has joined Colbinabbin, Will Sheahan will play for Leopold, Tadhg Lowry is at Charles Sturt University, Jacob Christie was recruited by Rupanyup, and Matt Berry is at East Geelong.

Also gone from the Bulls are Elliot Jaeschke to Mundulla, Dylan Adkins to Robinvale-Euston, Stefan Pye to Ballan, and Chol Majok to PHOS Camden.

Runner-up last season, Donald starts this campaign at home against Wycheproof-Narraport.

Recruits for the Rohan Brown-coached Royals include Kieran Bell, Stephen Dinnell, James Heslop, Chris Lynch, Jamie Papalia, and Jesse Wallin.

Reece McNally has made his way from Donald to Pimpinio, Michael Foster will play for Lake Wendouree, Sam Griffiths is at South Bendigo, and Scott Wood at Koondrook Barham.

A new-look coaching duo of Bryce Delmenico and Billy McInnes will have Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers fired up after last season’s preliminary final defeat.

In a coup for Sea Lake Nandaly, their 2023 recruits are highlighted by ex-Geelong Cat and Adelaide Crow, Josh Jenkins who is sure to have a big impact at the Tigers. Other SLN recruits include Jordan Bath, Matt Farrelly, Dylan Hickey and Brandon Stadon.

The Tigers play the Magpies at Boort Park in round one.

Justin Ellis has left the yellow and black for Tyntynder.

A huge plus for Wedderburn is the return of coach Sam Barnes to play after an eye injury kept him on the sidelines.

Despite many injuries last year, Wedderburn worked hard to achieve a win-loss record of 10-6.

The Redbacks run was ended in the first semi clash with Sea Lake Nandaly.

Wedderburn starts this season at home at Donaldson Park against Charlton.

The Redbacks’ recruits include Luke Brown, Hamish Lockhart and Bartholomew Walsh.

A major departure is Hamish Winter-Irving to Scotch OC in the Adelaide Football League.

Fifth in 2022, Wycheproof Narraport has gained some handy recruits for the Boe Bish-coached Demons.

A gun recruit is talented defender Josh Walsh from Bears Lagoon-Serpentine as assistant coach.

The Demons have also welcomed Aaron Bateson from Eaglehawk, Chris Cox and Kristian McNicol.

Adal Zuk has returned to the den, while Seth Hoskin and Cody Wright have joined the club from Inglewood.

Mana Clark left the Demons for Maiden Gully YCW Eagles, and former Essendon defender Aaron Henneman will play for Oakleigh District.

The Boort Magpies are likely to be a serious challenger for a finals berth.

First-up this season is a home clash with Sea Lake Nandaly.

Boort has Dale Cameron as coach.

A massive coup was the signing of Western Bulldogs premiership player Shane Biggs.

Drafted by Sydney Swans in 2012 after starring for Bendigo Gold in the VFL, Biggs played six matches across 2013-14, and 57 matches for the Bulldogs between 2015 and ’18.

Newcomers at Boort Park include midfielder Jarrod Fitzpatrick from Golden Square; Brayden Aitken and Natnael McLaren from Maiden Gully YCW Eagles.

Boort has also signed Ben Brinsmead, Rylan Chislett, Rhys Crapper, Ryan McGhie, Fraser Millar, Tim Rhook, Matthew Rice, Cameron Ross, and Jesse Smith.

Departures from Boort Park include Cody Gunn and Brodie Leonoard-Shannon to Maldon, Pat Bogers and Ben Knight to North Bendigo.

St Arnaud has a new coach in Anthony Bourke, aka A.J., whose previous stints include Avoca and Beaufort.

Players returning to the Saints include Tyler Baldock from Avoca, and Brad Organ from Quambatook.

Kristian McNicoll is also back and will take on the added role as under-17s coach.

Other recruits include Jamie Beavis, Nick Birthisel, Nathan and Nicholas Coghlan, Simon Elliott, Ben Hammerstein, Ricky Henricksen, Daniel and Ryan Kitchin, Zaccariah MacDonald, Zac McLeod, and Edward Swanton.

Departures include Thomas Douglas to Lockington Bamawm United, and Jack Tillig to Balwyn.

After a first-round bye, St Arnaud makes the trek for Nullawil for the April 22 showdown.

After a winless season, Charlton has bolstered its line-up with plenty of experience.

Key recruits for the Navies who will again be coached by Andy Nisbet include Travis Baird from Mount Pleasant.

A brilliant career for Baird included stints in the AFL with Brisbane Lions and Western Bulldogs, at Golden Square in the Bendigo FNL, and his hometown of Donald.

The Navies have also gained skilful midfielder Jaydon Cowling from Huntly. He previously played for Golden Square.

Other newcomers at Charlton include Tyler Bruns, Jed Carey, Chris Gavaghan, Jack Collins, Dustin Hill, Harrison Taylor, and Rhyen and Sam Woods.

Charles Patullo has left Charlton for the Western Rams.