Katandra leads the way in busy off-season for local clubs

By Aydin Payne

It has been a busy off-season already for many local football clubs in the Goulburn Murray region, with a number of clubs making noise during spring.

Katandra Football Netball Club has made three key signings for its football outfit in recent weeks, with the Kats welcoming back multiple young stars.

The Kats confirmed the signing of former junior star Mitch Black on Monday.

The two-time under-17s premiership player has returned after a stint with Goulburn Valley league club Shepparton United.

And Black's dual premiership teammate Rhys Damon was back where his career started, after two years playing with United.

Joining the returning duo was Jack Caia, who comes off a nine-game season with United's senior outfit.

Caia played 15 senior games with United in the 2018 season and, along with Black and Damon, should inject youth into the Kats' 2020 squad.

But the trio has shown early faith in a club which was awaiting a formal notification from the Picola District Football League following its application to join the league for the 2020 season.

If the application's successful, Katandra returns to the Picola league following its two-year association in the Murray Football League.

In a statement posted on the club's Facebook page, the Kats revealed the events that took place in the lead-up to the application.

“The club wish to advise that following on from our recent members vote, the committee voted unanimously to formally apply to re-join the PDFNL for season 2020,” the statement said.

“There has been a lot of correspondence with all the relevant parties (PDFNL, MFNL and AFL Goulburn Murray) over the last few weeks.

“We will keep you all informed once we have received formal notification from the PDFNL whether our application was successful or not.”

Katandra departed the PDFNL and joined the MFL - along with Tungamah and Shepparton East - in 2018, when it was revealed that the league had severed its ties with AFLGM.

But an agreement in August 2018 saw the Picola league renew its affiliation with the local governing body and a three-year extension was signed in March this year.

● Meanwhile, Finley Football Netball Club has joined in on the fun of the player movements, announcing two former juniors have signed for next season.

Former Finley juniors Fraser Hawkins and Jordan Taylor have joined the Cattery, with Taylor returning following a stint at state level.

The hulking defender played in the SANFL for South Adelaide, before joining NEAFL outfit Southport Sharks.