MFL

Nathalia has two Butlers at service for defence

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February 17, 2017

Coming home: Ryan Butler, who has captained Shepparton United, is returning to Nathalia and will play alongside another Ryan Butler.

Nathalia faithful will be reading and seeing double this season.

The Purples have lured former Shepparton United captain Ryan Butler back to the club this year.

The four-time premiership Purple returns to the club after eight years, two flags and almost 150 games with the Demons, and will be a huge asset in Nathalia’s quest for a second Murray Valley Football League three-peat in 10 years.

In a quirk that will surely come up often this season, the Purples have also recruited Ryan Butler (no relation) from Kyabram.

The lively small forward booted 25 goals in 13 games for the Bombers’ powerful reserves side last year, while also tasting senior action in a team that went undefeated for the season.

The Butlers are sure to feature heavily at either end of the ground this year, and will go a long way to filling the hole of departing club stalwarts Ash and Luke Quinn, who have joined Waaia.

‘‘It’s a shame to lose the experience, but we’ve still got good leaders around the traps,’’ Nathalia coach Craig Whyte said.

‘‘Local players (like Butler) returning to the club is our mould and that’s what we’ve done again.’’

Whyte did not want to look too far ahead, but said his side was capable of pulling off something special this year if it could win yet another premiership.

‘‘If you don’t aim high, you won’t finish high,’’ he said.

‘‘I think the guys we’ve picked up plus the natural progression (of our list) will hold us in good stead.’’

If the Purples were to win again this year, it would be their eighth premiership in 13 years.

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