Bear jumps ship to join Bull­dogs’ fleet in 2018

The Tatura Guardian - - Sport - By Oliver Caf­frey

Emerg­ing Shep­par­ton star Matt Shan­non has made the switch to Goul­burn Val­ley League ri­val 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 week.

He said he was look­ing to learn from 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 at the hands of 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 un­der18 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.

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