SPRINGBANK says being smarter, not paying top dollar, won the prized signature of big recruit Paul McMahon.
The Central Highlands Football League club yesterday scoffed at rumours of big dollar deals or incentives, insisting the club had pooled resources from within to lure the former North Ballarat and Lake Wendouree premiership player.
Coach Sam Giblett said the Tigers had not blown out their total player payments budget, but players and supporters had chipped in with offers of skills, services and materials to help with a home renovation and allow McMahon to concentrate on football.
He said it might have represented an attractive dollar value but had not directly cost the club.
“What some of the rumours are is ridiculous,” Giblett said.
“We’re paying a lot less than what (McMahon) was offered by other clubs, be they CHFL, BFL or Geelong Football League.
“To attract a player like Paul, we couldn’t compete with the numbers that were thrown about. So we did our research on what we had at the club that we could help Paul out with.
“At the club, among the playing group and supporters, we have trades and services, contacts and materials.
“It is a network of people. It’s not a direct thing from a sponsor, it’s the whole community.
“We’re very content with the match day figure. With other players moving on, we’re not paying much more than we did last year.”
McMahon, a carpenter, had been linked closely with at least one other Central Highlands club.
Giblett said there were electricians, plumbers, crane operators and concreters among the Springbank playing list, which was not unusual for country football clubs.
He said other clubs should “think outside the square” and see what resources they have within their clubs rather than simply offer high profile players a dollar figure.
“As a coach involved in a footy club, I can say no one wants to see clubs going through what we’ve read Illabarook is going through,” Giblett said.
“There are things clubs can do to attract players without just getting into a bidding war.”