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Hughes loss for Tigers

 

Scott Hughes will play with Nhill next year. (Marcel Berens Sports Photgraphy Image/Marcel Berens)

TORQUAY coach Dom Gleeson is confident the reigning BFL premier will have the internal depth to cover the departure of star forward Scott Hughes.

The Tigers’ leading goal kicker won’t be part of the club’s flag defence after taking up an offer to work as an electrician in the state’s far west.

“Scotty’s started a new business with his father in Torquay,” Gleeson said.

“They’re just building their business, so it allows him time to pursue other opportunities away.

“Up in Nhill where he’s got some good mates, they’ve offered him a couple of days a week being a sparky, as well as playing footy up there.

“He’s always wanted to play with a couple of mates.”

A two-time century goal kicker with Torquay, Hughes this year finished with 68 majors from 20 games.

“He’s our leading goal kicker, so he’s going to leave a huge hole for us,” Gleeson. “But, in saying that, we feel like we’ve got some new recruits on our list already.

“Matt Deledio went away for a wedding and then he broke his hand late in the year, so he couldn’t play in the finals series.

“We’ve got Benny Kennedy who played a lot of reserve grade footy just waiting for his opportunity. He’s better than a twos player.

“Then we’ve got a guy called Liam McGlashan who played a lot of twos footy and some senior footy towards the end (of the season).

“I’m not saying they’re going to totally replace Scott, because he’s a great goal kicker. But we’ve got the depth there.”

Gleeson says Hughes will not only be missed on the field, but also off it.

“Scott and I have had a pretty strong relationship since arriving,” he said. “There was definitely an empathy there on why he left St Mary’s to come (back) to Torquay.

“We welcomed him with open arms … and he fitted in brilliantly. So he will be huge loss both socially and on-field.

“Fortunately, he’ll stay involved with us pre-season and through the winter, and he’ll be the first port of call at the end of next year.

At this stage, Hughes is the only confirmed departure from the side that defeated Geelong Amateur in the grand final.

Gleeson is looking to commence pre-season training from mid-November onwards.

“But they’re an eager bunch down here at Torquay. Success breeds success, I suppose,” he said.

“We’ve already got running groups and sessions going on away from the coaches, which is really pleasing.

“I see a lot of local boys running around. Whether that’s to get a beach body, I’m not too sure.

“But they’re all doing the right thing by me.”

Twitter: @tom_king79