Sport

Can Kyabram be dethroned?

By Tyler Maher

The kings are back atop the mountain – but can the Bombers stay there?

Kyabram returned with a vengeance in 2019 to complete a third perfect Goulburn Valley League season in four campaigns, with Shepparton’s 2018 triumph the outlier among a dynasty of epic proportions.

Although Bomber legend Paul Newman has handed over the reins, Brad Edwards is keen to pick up where his mentor left off – and with little movement in the squad over summer he looks primed to do just that.

Echuca is the natural challenger once more, but the likes of Benalla, Rochester and Euroa have been hitting the recruiting track hard over summer and look to have built squads to make them true contenders.

The Bears have had a changing of the guard in their list, leaving plenty of opportunities for the side’s youth to showcase their wares this season, while Seymour should again be around the mark despite losing some depth.

Tatura is a tough outfit to gauge after it said goodbye to about as much talent as it welcomed, with Shepparton United causing plenty of recruiting waves as well by signing former AFL stalwart Brock McLean among a host of inclusions.

Paul Hawke and the Shepparton Swans will be confident they can lift themselves off the bottom of the table – especially after favourite son BJ Squire’s return to Princess Park – while Mooroopna is looking to new coach John Lamont to steer it into a successful era.

Mansfield has been hit by a mass exodus of players but write the Eagles off at your own peril – especially in the high country.

There will be more GVL footballers than ever this season as well with the introduction of the Saturday under-16 competition, making for action-packed game days across the year.

GOULBURN VALLEY LEAGUE PAST PREMIERS:

2019: Kyabram

2018: Shepparton

2017: Kyabram

2016: Kyabram

2015: Benalla

2014:  Shepparton Swans

2013: Kyabram

2012: Tatura

2011: Shepparton United

2010: Shepparton United

PAST MORRISON MEDALLISTS

2019: Mick Mattingly (Kyabram)

2018: Nik Rokahr (Shepparton) and Sam Martin (Benalla)

2017: Simon Buckley (Echuca)

2016: Simon Buckley (Echuca)

2015: Ash Watson (Rochester)

2014: Will Martiniello (Benalla)

2013: Luke Morgan (Benalla)

2012: Mark Blake (Mooroopna)

2011: Guy Campbell (Rochester)

2010: Kristian Height (Echuca)