Shepparton News

Barnes buckles up with Bombers to enjoy some Paulo time

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Girgarre is on the hunt for a new senior football coach after Billy Barnes confirmed he was heading to Kyabram next season.

After three seasons, the playing mentor has decided to move on from the Kyabram District League outfit for a crack at the Bombers.

The star utility will be under the tutelage of one Goulburn Valley League’s most decorated coaches, Paul Newman.

The decision from Barnes comes following the announceme­nt Newman has dusted off the coaching hat after two years in retirement.

Barnes said he had some unfinished business as a player and coach and they are the reasons why he has accepted the role as joint assistant coach at the Bombers.

‘‘It was a really a difficult decision to make, but I want to grow into and learn more about coaching and playing under Paul,” Barnes said.

Barnes said he enjoyed his time at Girgarre.

The 2021 season has been a challengin­g one for Barnes’ outfit, with the Roos impacted by injuries.

“I’ve loved my three seasons with Girgarre and it is a great club,” he said.

“I would have liked to have got it to play finals which is my big disappoint­ment in leaving there.”

The brother-in-law of former Kyabram and AFL champion Brett Deledio and the son-in-law of former Kyabram star and club president Wayne Deledio, Barnes is a widely travelled player.

He spent his junior days at Deniliquin, played for Ballarat Rebels and has had VFL experience with Geelong in 2016 and before that the former Bendigo Bombers and North Ballarat VFL sides.

He also had a three-year stint in a Western Australian regional league, which produced two flags and state representa­tion on three occasions for Western Australia in the National Country Football Championsh­ips.

Before Barnes descended on the Goulburn Valley, he last played at Torquay Tigers in the Bellarine Peninsula League, which included two grand final appearance­s and one premiershi­p.

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