K rock Football

Greats depart Joeys

St Joseph’s great Ben Capra and Joe Macula have played their last games for the club. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Ashlin Vijayan)

A COUPLE of familiar faces were missing when two-time reigning GFL premier St Joseph’s went back to training under new coach Paul Carson on Monday night.

Club greats Ben Capra and Joe Macula have called time on their careers in the red, gold and black, having both racked up more than 200 games and featured in the 2015, 2017 and 2018 flags.

Carson says the decision for the duo, who have travelled from Melbourne for the majority of their senior careers, wasn’t an easy one.

“We’ve been discussing this over the last month, and they just couldn’t come to terms with saying “we’re going to stay in Melbourne”,” Carson said.

“They’ve both got really good jobs, so the demands of that, then trying to travel down the highway at 6 o’clock in the middle of winter, was going to burn the candle at both ends.

“As a footy club, you can never replace personalities like Capra and Macula; they’re ripping guys and have been fantastic servants of our footy club.

“But, in the end, for where they are in their careers, I think they’ve made the right decision.”

 

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I pulled on my Joey’s jumper and laced up my boots for the first time as a Senior Footballer at 16. Since that day I have given much of my life to a club that has cared for me and fostered my growth as a footballer and a person. I crossed that white line over 200 times with my best friends and when I did I never wanted to be anywhere else. I’ve shared tears of sadness and of joy with team mates that evolved into brothers and who I have spent as much time with on the field as off. It’s extremely hard to say goodbye to something you still love very much and that has given you some of the best moments in your life (3 in case you were counting 🏆🏆🏆) Unfortunately life outside football has called a bit louder this year and the trip down to Geelong has become a bridge too far. So to all the players, family members, medical staff and supporters at the @st.josephsfnc (past and present) I would like to thank you for letting me do what I love … Play Football. Round 1 2019 will come and I will pull on my jumper and lace up my boots somewhere new but deep down I will always be that 16 year old kid in Red, Gold and Black 🇩🇪

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Capra and Macula aren’t the only departures from this year’s premiership team, with veteran defender Daniel Measures joining Portarlington.

Despite losing more than 500 games of GFL senior experience, Carson is confident that trio can be covered by those who were squeezed out of the team that beat St Mary’s for the second straight year or were injured.

“Reid Adams, Rhys Hultgren, Kieran Paliouras, Lech Featherstone, Tom Denning; there are still guys who probably would have walked into that grand final team,” he said.

“So, we still think we’re in really good shape depth-wise.

“We’ve got some really good kids coming through, too, which we’re keen to progress and give some game time to them as well.

St Joseph’s will have access to Geelong VFL defender Ben Reid when he is not required by the Cats.

Originally from Echuca, he previously had Grovedale as his interchange club before returning his alignment to the Goulburn Valley league club in 2018.

“We were really hopeful Ben would be fulltime GFL, but he wanted to commit for another year of VFL footy, which is fantastic,” Carson said.

“If he’s not at Geelong, he’ll play with us, and he’ll be a fantastic addition to our list.

“His leadership and skill level and experience he has is second to none in our competition, so he’ll be fantastic to have on board.”

Joeys will also have access to talented Tasmanian Nick Hutchinson in 2019.

The 19-year-old, who was part of the Allies squad at last year’s under-18 National Championships, is training with the Geelong VFL squad.

GFL: INS & OUTS

MEANWHILE, luckless former Sydney defender Alex Johnson has nominated Lara as his interchange club for 2019.

A member of the Swans’ 2012 premiership team, Johnson was delisted at the end of this year after suffering another ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in just his second game back after nearly six years on the sidelines.

He has been linked with VFL club Northern Blues.

Twitter: @tom_king79

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