Former Port Adelaide player Mitch Banner has walked away from a return to the VFL and committed to playing only with Melton South in the Ballarat Football League this year.
Banner, who played with Darley last season, had earned a spot back on the Williamstown list and nominated Melton South, where he played his junior football, as his home club.
Banner told The Courier that a career move into the real estate industry had forced a change of plan.
He said he had been keen for another campaign with Williamstown with the hope of a second flag after being part of the Seagulls’ 2015 premiership team.
Banner, who lives in Bacchus Marsh, said unfortunately his new work commitments would not allow him to meet VFL training and match-day requirements.
He said there was greater flexibility playing with Melton South.
The onballer/midfielder said although it had not worked out Williamstown fully understood.
“I was keen to prove myself at the level again.”
Banner will not completely cut his ties with Williamstown.
Keen to get into coaching, Banner said he would be mentoring midfielders at the Seagulls.
The change of plan is another boost for Melton South, with Banner part of one of the most vigorous recruiting campaigns in the BFL in many years – headed by the appointment of champion goalkicker Brendan Fevola as joint coach with Sean Triplett.
Triplett said getting Banner on board on a “full-time” basis was more good news, especially given he was a former Melton South junior and consequently a one-point player under the new points system.
Meanwhile, one of the Panthers’ first signings Shannon Broadbent will not be playing in the BFL.
Triplett said the 36-year-old journeyman and multiple premiership player had parted ways mutually.
Bendigo league club Kangaroo Flat has cleared Broadbent to Coreen Daysdale Hopefield Buraja United in the Hume league.
He is a six-time premiership player with Tullamarine, Maribyrnong Park, Tatura and Deer Park.