Emerging Shepparton star Matt Shannon has made the switch to Goulburn Valley League rivals Tatura.
Shannon, who played a big role in the Bears’ charge to the Goulburn Valley League grand final this year but missed the decider through injury, was unveiled as a new Bulldog last night.
He said he was looking to learn off coach and midfield general Jamason Daniels, who has spent time in the AFL system with the Western Bulldogs and Gold Coast.
‘‘I felt like I needed a change, nothing against the (Shepparton) footy club, but I just felt like it was the right move for me,’’ Shannon said.
‘‘He (Daniels) has already shown in the way he presents himself what a quality coach and player he is, along with guys like Linc Wellington and Tom Miller who have a lot of experience and will be great to play with.’’
Shannon said it was disappointing to be injured and miss Shepparton’s grand final defeat against Kyabram, but it played no factor in his decision to leave the Bears.
‘‘It was very disappointing to get injured at the wrong time of the year,’’ Shannon said.
‘‘There was nothing more I could’ve done to get myself up. If there was another week or two it might have been okay, but it just didn’t happen.’’
Shepparton is still searching for a replacement for long-serving coach Brad Campbell, but the Bears started pre-season training last night under the guidance of co-captain Ted Lindon.
Daniels said he was delighted to secure Shannon, on top of fellow recruits Brandyn Grenfell, Billy Cooper and Aubrey Coote.
‘‘I’ve known Greg, his old man, for a while and we touched base at the end of last year and talked about his plans and the opportunity came up for him to come to Tatura,’’ Daniels said.
‘‘I think he’s ready to blossom, he’s already done a power of work in his first couple of training sessions and he will form a key part of our midfield next year.
‘‘He’s a good inside midfielder around the stoppages with elite endurance and a good turn of speed.
‘‘He’s probably played more of an outside role in the past with his speed, but I see him playing a lot in the midfield and taking his game to the next level.’’
Daniels said he was confident of being able to fit Shannon, Grenfell, Cooper and Coote in the side together under the player points system.
The players will be valued at the higher end of the points system, particularly Shannon, Grenfell and Cooper who are coming from clubs in the GVL.
Daniels said the Dogs were hoping to secure extra points being a small town club, not having a high school in Tatura and after missing finals for the past three seasons.
Shepparton Swans and Euroa were granted allowances this year, with the Swans having played finals for four seasons in a row before last season.
‘‘We didn’t have an under-18 team last year, so the under-18 players we had this year are automatically going to be worth more coming into the senior team,’’ Daniels said.