After a brilliant journey with Springbank, Paul McMahon is making a move.
The star goal-kicker has decided to leave the Tigers after back-to-back premierships and join Bellarine Football League club Torquay for the 2017 campaign.
McMahon, who played four seasons with Springbank following a high-profile move from the North Ballarat Roosters, is understood to have been pursued strongly by former club Lake Wendouree before settling on his new destination.
He played in the 2010 senior flag with the Lakers alongside Springbank teammate Tim Malone, who is the new coach of that club.
McMahon has a connection to Torquay through property in the region and is expected to reside there in the near future.
Torquay football operations manager Keiran O’Dwyer said McMahon is a major pick-up for the club.
He said McMahon is the club’s marquee signing, alongside former Geelong VFL and South Barwon player Ben Raidme.
O’Dwyer said the club has lacked a real focal point in attack for some time and hopes McMahon can fill that void.
“That’s what we have actively pursued and we think we’ve got that in Paul McMahon,” he said.
At his new club, McMahon will join the likes of former Ballarat footballer Adam Sewell, who played for Torquay last season.
McMahon’s arrival at Springbank proved instrumental in the Tigers’ period of dominance.
Recruited by former coach Sam Giblett, McMahon helped lure a string of crucial additions to the club, including fellow North Ballarat Roosters footballers Michael Searl, Nick Couch, Billy Driscoll and Matt Tyler.
During his stint with Springbank, McMahon played 70 games and kicked more than 250 goals, including a league-leading tally of 89 majors in 2016.
McMahon is a multiple Central Highlands team of the year member and interleague representative and was named best on ground in the Tigers’ grand final win over Buninyong in September.
Springbank president David Toohey said McMahon had made a “great contribution” at Tigerland.
Toohey said McMahon had kept the club in the loop about his future plans.
“Paul leaves on great terms and we are really thankful for his contribution over the past four years,” Toohey said.
Springbank will be coached by Searl in season 2017 in its bid to secure a league-first three-straight senior premierships.
The Tigers are set for a grand final rematch with Buninyong in round one of the new season on April 1.