K rock Football

Saints farewell former skipper

Former St Mary’s captain Jacob Welsh with co-coaches Travis Robertson (left) and Gleen Keast following the 2019 GFL grand final. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

ST MARY’S premiership captain Jacob Welsh has become one of the GFL’s highest-profile pre-season departures.

The former Saints skipper is moving to the Gold Coast and is set to play with Broadbeach in the QAFL.

Co-coach Travis Robertson says Welsh’s decision caught he and Glenn Keast by surprise.

“He’s been focussing on a few other things outside of footy, in terms of his career development with some study,” Robertson said.

“Getting to training had been a little bit of a challenge over this pre-season.

“Then we got wind he was potentially looking to make a life change with his partner Lucy.

“We were able to chat to him about it quickly, and he’s on the move.”

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Robertson concedes Welsh, who 149 GFL senior games experience to his name, will leave a void at the reigning premier.

“He’s a certainly well-respected leader of our group,” Robertson said.

“The young kids that have come up through the ranks have seen him play a lot of senior footy.

“And, I think a lot of his leadership and his action in how he plays the game; he plays it strong, he plays it hard, and they look up to that.

“And he’s certainly a loveable guy off the field.”

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However, Robertson is confident Welsh’s departure won’t have too great of an impact.

“I know it’s a bit of cliche, but there’s a lot of good talented kids coming up who can get an opportunity from a hole left in our side,” he said.

Welsh is one of four departures from the team that defeated Colac to win the 2019 premiership joining Andrew Banjanin (retired), Kyle Reid (Port Melbourne/Leongatha) and Jesse Travaglini (Southport).

Twitter: @tom_king79