BFL: Panthers in deadlock with Lancefield over key forward

Melton South is making a bid to top up its list with well credentialled Riddell District Football League goalkicker Jonathon Kent.

The Panthers are locked in a battle with Lancefield to secure Kent before clearances close at the end of this month.

Melton South joint coach Sean Triplett said Kent had been training with the Panthers for a few weeks. “He’s keen.”

Lancefield has refused two clearance applications by Kent and as of Thursday a third was pending.

Lancefield club president Leanne Backwell gave a succinct reply of “no comment” when questioned on the issue by The Courier.

Kent is seeking to renew a longstanding association with former Lancefield coach Ash Manning at Melton South.

Manning started this season as Lancefield coach, but left after losses in the opening two rounds and joined the Panthers as an assistant coach.

Triplett said he and Manning had been friends since playing football together.

Kent and Manning have had an extended football partnership, having joined Lancefield together in 2015 after stints together at Greenvale, Glenroy and Tullamarine. 

A 100-goalkicker in a season with Glenroy, Kent finished second in the RDFL goalkicking in 2015 with 62 and won it last year with 77.

He has 23 after seven rounds this season, also kicked six for the RDFL in a win over West Gippsland in the AFL Victoria Community Championships.

Triplett said Melton South was eager to land Kent to add another dimension in attack and also provide a better balance.

The Panthers already have the Ballarat Football League’s leading two goalkickers.

Brendan Fevola heads the list with 31 in eight games, while Mitch Banner has 28.

This is despite spending time in the midfield in the past two rounds.

Triplett said adding Kent would free up Banner to spend more time in the midfield – the role he expected to fill when he decided to return to his former home club.

Melton South, which did not win a game last season, is fourth but after having two standalone marquee games before the home and season proper started has played up to two games more than other teams.