Mansfield’s continued efforts to secure the services of two classy players has hit another hurdle.
Corowa-Rutherglen duo James Lawton and Brent Rose have been trying to gain clearances to play at the Eagles since late last year.
But on Thursday the situation came to a head when the star duo’s appeal was dismissed by the AFL North-East Border Area Appeals Committee.
Lawton and Rose each lodged three clearances which were denied by the Roos and Mansfield chose to take the matter further.
The duo each signed two-year contracts to play in the Ovens and Murray league, but only fulfilled one year, and after moving to work in the high country, opted to join the Goulburn Valley League club.
But now Mansfield coach Cameron Hotton said the Eagles were considering their options in the exceptional situation.
‘‘If we wanted to take it further we have to go to an appeals board in Melbourne and that’s an option but we’re discussing it with the players and as a club what path we want to take,’’ he said.
‘‘The players in question have made Mansfield their home and are working in the area ... we’ve still got a game to focus on so we’ll debrief on Sunday and make a decision on Monday.’’
Hotton was previously optimistic the pair would be available to debut for the club in today’s testing match against Shepparton at home.
The pair have impressed at training with Lawton included in the leadership team should he be allowed to play.
Both are disappointed their contracted club had not cleared them.
Whether or not Lawton and Rose make their way onto the field this season in Eagles colours, Hotton said they will be key inclusions next year.
‘‘They’re definitely still training with the group and as far as we’re concerned they’re a part of the group,’’ Hotton said.
‘‘The season’s under way and this is going on in the background, it’s not a distraction for the playing group and while we’d love to have them running around on Sunday, they’re still a part of Tuesday and Thursday training and even if they can’t play they’ll continue to train and look forward to 2019.’’