The Goulburn Valley will have four fresh faces grace the AFL and AFLW playing fields in 2020 in what is shaping up to be another busy year for the home-grown exports.
But first, joining the new players on the big stage will be Katandra product David Teague, who has taken the reins of one of Victoria’s biggest football clubs for the upcoming season.
Teague was appointed the senior coach of Carlton Football Club last year after a successful interim period and joins the likes of GV products Damian Drum and Chris Connolly to have coached at the highest level.
And on the field, two local talents in Mooroopna’s Millie Brown (Geelong) and Shepparton’s Grace Egan (Carlton) joined the six other AFLW exports.
Brown was selected by Geelong as the club’s first father-daughter selection and Egan landed at the Blues via pick 13 in the AFLW Academy bidding process.
Brown joined Kyabram’s Julia Crockett-Grills and Benalla’s Becky Webster at the Cattery, while Egan slotted in alongside Euroa exports Sarah and Jess Hosking.
Mansfield’s Bonnie Toogood has been running around for the Western Bulldogs, while Shepparton’s Ange Foley – fresh off a premiership – is halfway through Adelaide’s title defence.
And it will be a case of two in and two out this year in the AFL ranks.
Shepparton’s Lachie Ash was drafted to last year’s grand finalist Greater Western Sydney via pick three in the draft, while Echuca’s Brodie Kemp has jumped on the Teague Train after joining Carlton with pick 17.
Last year we saw the retirements of Kyabram’s Brett Deledio and Katamatite’s Sam Wright from the professional scene, with injuries hampering both players in their twilight years.
Deledio’s former teammate, Echuca’s Sam Reid, will be hoping the Giants can return to September action and atone for their grand final loss to Richmond.
And two locals enjoyed a taste of representative football last month.
Tallygaroopna’s Steele Sidebottom (Collingwood) and Finley’s Tom Hawkins (Geelong) both featured in the State of Origin bushfire relief fundraiser for Victoria and the All-Star sides respectively.
Meanwhile, there was just one change of clubs for a GV export in last year’s trade period, with Kialla’s Alex Keath shifting from Adelaide to the Western Bulldogs.
The defender joins a host of exports at the Dogs, with Deniliquin’s Sam Lloyd, Euroa’s Will Hayes, Seymour’s Josh Schache and Mooroopna’s Laitham Vandermeer.
Keath’s addition at the kennel now means that the Western Bulldogs have the equal highest number of exports on their list, alongside Port Adelaide.
The Power has a host of GV exports at its disposal, with Echuca’s Ollie Wines, Benalla’s Tom Rockliff, Deniliquin’s Todd Marshall and Rochester’s Joe Atley.
Joe’s older brother Shaun is joined at North Melbourne by Mooroopna’s Jy Simpkin, who has joined the club’s leadership group for the upcoming season.
Lastly, Moama’s Aidyn Johnson has joined Richmond’s VFL list after being delisted from Port Adelaide.
LOCAL AFL PLAYERS
Jordon Butts – Adelaide (Shepparton)
Caleb Marchbank – Carlton (Benalla)
Brodie Kemp – Carlton (Echuca)
Flynn Appleby – Collingwood (Cohuna)
Jamie Elliott – Collingwood (Euroa)
Steele Sidebottom – Collingwood (Tallygaroopna)
David Mundy – Fremantle (Seymour)
Lachie Schultz – Fremantle (Moama)
Tom Hawkins – Geelong (Finley)
Esava Ratugolea – Geelong (Cobram)
Will Brodie – Gold Coast (Shepparton)
Jarrod Harbrow – Gold Coast (Mooroopna)
Nick Holman – Gold Coast (Kyabram)
Lachie Ash – GWS (Shepparton)
Sam Reid – GWS (Echuca)
Daniel Howe – Hawthorn (Rennie)
Harry Morrison – Hawthorn (Benalla)
James Cousins – Hawthorn (Mansfield)
Jarman Impey – Hawthorn (Shepparton and Shepparton Swans)
Marty Hore – Melbourne (Cohuna)
Clayton Oliver – Melbourne (Mooroopna)
Jy Simpkin – North Melbourne (Mooroopna)
Shaun Atley – North Melbourne (Rochester)
Tom Rockliff – Port Adelaide (Benalla)
Ollie Wines – Port Adelaide (Echuca)
Tom Clurey – Port Adelaide (Katamatite)
Todd Marshall – Port Adelaide (Deniliquin)
Joe Atley – Port Adelaide (Rochester)
Aidyn Johnson – Port Adelaide (Moama)
Alex Keath – Western Bulldogs (Kialla)
Will Hayes – Western Bulldogs (Euroa)
Sam Lloyd – Western Bulldogs (Deniliquin)
Josh Schache – Western Bulldogs (Seymour)
Laitham Vandermeer – Western Bulldogs (Mooroopna)
Angela Foley – Adelaide (Shepparton)
Grace Egan – Carlton (Shepparton)
Sarah Hosking – Carlton (former Euroa netball coach)
Jess Hosking – Carlton (former Euroa netballer)
Julia Crockett-Grills – Geelong (Kyabram)
Millie Brown – Geelong (Mooroopna)
Becky Webster – Geelong (Benalla)
Bonnie Toogood – Western Bulldogs (Mansfield)