TYLER Dittloff admits he contemplated leaving Buninyong after being dropped for last year’s Central Highlands Football League grand final.
The 24-year-old defender had enjoyed a standout season for the red and black, but was forced to watch from the sidelines as the Bombers fell at the final hurdle for a second consecutive season.
Dittloff had earlier been dropped for the semi final win over Springbank, snuck in as an emergency for the preliminary final against Waubra, only to lose his spot again for the decider.
He said the decision to leave him out was made by then-coach Joe Gilbert, who has since left the Bombers.
Making it more surprising was the fact that Dittloff finished runner-up in the club’s best and fairest count.
“I got a lot of support from the club,” Dittloff recalls. “If the club wasn’t so good about it, I probably would have left. It probably could have gone one of two ways, (but) everyone at the club was fantastic.”
After deciding to stay at Bomberland, Dittloff has turned in another strong campaign for the club, despite missing some matches through overseas travel and a shoulder injury, which threatened to derail his 2014 season.
But after sitting out three games, Dittloff returned in last weekend’s loss to Gordon for a lead-in to this Saturday’s elimination final against Daylesford.
The former East Point junior has also taken on the under-17.5 coaching role and a place on the Buninyong committee to be invested in the club he joined in season 2011.
Dittloff said the appointment of Jarrod Morgan to the helm this year had been a great one.
“He’s been a breath of fresh air. It’s more relaxed this year,” Dittloff said.
“(Morgan) didn’t throw the baby out with the bath water. He has kept a lot of Joe’s principles, but is more flexible and probably not as old school and relates better to the young players.
“With Joe it was more one bloke steering the ship, which is good, but Morgs has a lot more input from other people.”
The big number one, who has also played football at Lismore-Derrinallum in the Mininera and District competition and a season in Darwin, said he believed Buninyong had the potential to win a premiership this year, providing it could show its best form for longer periods of games.