K rock Football

Lions lose Kelly

Belmont Lions have farewelled former Bell Post Hill star Will Kelly before he played a game with the club. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Marcel Berens)

BELMONT Lions coach Ash Witney says he “has some irons in the fire” after confirming the departure of former Bell Post Hill teammate Will Kelly back to North Gippsland club Heyfield.

Kelly played in the Panthers’ 2015-16 flags before returning home to Heyfield last year. He was trumpeted as one of Witney’s key additions and lodged a clearance to join the Lions.

However, the clearance list this week revealed Kelly was pulling the pin without playing a game.

“He’s got a few personal issues that he’s got to deal with,” Witney said.

“At the end of January it was looking more likely he wasn’t going to be playing, then he informed me earlier this week that he won’t be playing.”

“We’ll have a few extra points and a big of extra cash as well.

“We’re just waiting to hear back on a couple and we’ll go from there.”


Witney is confident Kelly’s decision won’t have a significant impact on the planning for 2018 at Winter Reserve, subscribing to the Alistair Clarkson theory of replacing players.

“One soldier down goes out, another one comes in,” Witney said. It will give a couple of other guys opportunities to play through the middle of the ground.

“We’ve got a couple of young guys who have done all the training.

“Dyl (Witney) will probably get a bit more attention now, but he’s big enough and ugly enough to look after himself.”

The Lions will ramp up their preparation for season 2018 this afternoon when it meets North Sunshine in practice match at Peter Lowe Reserve in Manifold Heights.


Meanwhile, in other clearance news, North Geelong has added brothers Beau and Matt Runnalls from Southern league club St Kilda City.

Beau looms as a likely replacement for departed spearhead Jamie Pitman having kicked 209 goals from 56 games with Alberton league club Phillip Island between 2014-16, including topping the ton in 2015.

Matt is a three-time premiership player with West Gippsland league club Cora Lynn.

The Magpies also look set to get back talented youngster Tom Schwennesen from GFL club Geelong West.

Schwennesen signed with the Giants during pre-season, but a clearance has been lodged for his return to Osborne Park.

Twitter: @tom_king79

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