REDAN has been left stunned by current Rooster and former Lion Derick Micallef’s decision to turn his back on his old club and switch allegiances to Ballarat Football League rival North Ballarat City.
Micallef, who left the L&H Lions for the opportunity to play VFL football with North Ballarat in 2007, has nominated Peach’s North City as his “home club” when he is not playing for the Roosters.
The 25-year-old will not be eligible to play for North City this season even if his clearance is approved by Redan. In addition to the clearance, which was lodged on June 29, Micallef required a local interchange permit before June 30, which could not be filed until his clearance is approved.
While Micallef is unlikely to play with North City any time soon, Redan president Darryl Blomeley said the news came as a shock to his club.
“It has come out of the blue. You don’t expect this at this time of the year,” Blomeley said.
“We’re disappointed. He has come through our pathways. We promoted him to the highest level possible in the hope he’d come back to us.
“We weren’t naive enough to think North City wouldn’t put pressure on players when they are coming back from the VFL. You’d like to think this is an isolated incident. You have to promote young players to the highest level and if you do the right thing they would come back to us.”
Redan is unlikely to block Micallef’s clearance, which means he will be eligible to play for North City next season.
However, as a senior Roosters player, there will be limited opportunities for Micallef to drop back to BFL level.
North Ballarat City president Stephen Darbin said Micallef approached his club with a view to nominating it as his home club.
Darbin said he hoped Micallef would continue to play VFL football or higher for many years to come.
“He wanted us as his own club. If a player wants to come to our club we’re not going to knock him back,” Darbin said.
“His two best mates play at the club, Ryan Luke and Tyler George, and he’s been coached by Rob Waters. He said he hasn’t been at Redan for quite a few years.
“Hopefully he plays VFL footy for three or four years, and plays the highest level possible. I don’t anticipate we’ll see him soon. We might never see him because he’s a senior player at the Roosters.
“There’s nothing sinister about it all.”
Even if Micallef was able to play for North Ballarat City this season, the club would not be in breach of the conditions of its admission into the BFL in 208. Under those terms the club may register up to two players who played at the Roosters the previous year. Daniel Jones is the only other player on North City’s list under that criterion.