Burgess de­parts Saints

Myrtleford Times - - Front Page - BY TATE SPI­TERI

MYRTLE­FORD will be with­out star mid­fielder/for­ward Chris­tian Burgess in 2019 af­ter the dy­namo signed with Eastern Foot­ball League club Ver­mont last week.

Burgess has played 67 games for the Saints since de­but­ing in 2014, boot­ing 104 goals in­clud­ing 47 in 2016 as he helped pro­pel the club to a drought­break­ing fi­nals cam­paign.

He was ar­guably the best player in the com­pe­ti­tion that year as his stun­ning form saw him win the Bor­der Mail’s player of the year and fin­ish third in the Mor­ris Medal.

Myrtle­ford coach, Jake Sharp, said the tal­ented Burgess would cer­tainly be missed.

“Chris­tian has been open with me pretty much since the end of the sea­son so I knew he was up in the air...we have been aware of it and tried to re­cruit around that,” he said.

“He’s a re­ally high cal­i­bre player but in say­ing that it’s now an­other spot that one of our re­ally good youth can come in and take.”

Burgess, who will have his third stint at play­ing foot­ball in Mel­bourne af­ter pre­vi­ous sea­sons at VFL clubs Wil­liamstown and Coburg, cited travel as the main rea­son for his de­par­ture.

“I love the club and all the boys, it was the tough­est footy de­ci­sion I’ve made but af­ter five years travel I de­cided to have a year in Mel­bourne,” he said yes­ter­day.

“I have no doubt that I’ll be back play­ing at Myrtle­ford again par­tic­u­larly while Jake is in charge.”

Burgess had a test­ing 2018 sea­son, never fully re­cov­er­ing from a pre-sea­son shoul­der in­jury and miss­ing six games.

Burgess’ new coach, Har­mit Singh, who is also an academy man­ager at Essendon, said in a so­cial me­dia post he couldn’t be more ex­cited to wel­come Burgess to Ver­mont.

“He is one of the most im­pres­sive in­di­vid­u­als I’ve met in my foot­ball ca­reer...we can’t wait to see him in the mighty blue and gold,” he added.

Myrtle­ford com­menced train­ing on Mon­day night with strong num­bers at­tend­ing both at McNa­mara Re­serve for lo­cal based foot­ballers and Gosch’s Pad­dock for the Mel­bourne con­tin­gent.

PHOTO: Mel Beat­tie

ON THE WAY OUT: Chris­tian Burgess in ac­tion for Myrtle­ford this sea­son. He will play for Ver­mont in 2019.

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