Melton South has declared it will stand in the way of clearance requests from two key players looking to leave the club for season 2018.
Former Port Adelaide footballer Mitchell Banner and multiple club best and fairest Anthony Hibbert have both sought moves away from the Panthers.
Melton South has denied Banner’s proposed shift to Victorian Amateur Football Association side Old Melburnians, as well as Hibbert’s two attempts for clearance to join arch rivals Melton.
Panthers football manager Sean Triplett said both players were being held under contracts they had signed which tie them to the club for 2018.
Triplett was matter of fact about the situation.
“They’re contracted and they won’t be cleared,” he told The Courier.
Banner arrived at Melton South for the 2017 campaign after spending the previous Ballarat Football League season with Darley.
The onballer/forward kicked 41 goals from 16 games with the Panthers last year.
Banner played 19 AFL games for Port Adelaide after he was recruited to the club via the 2008 national draft.
He was also a member of Williamstown’s VFL premiership in 2015.
Hibbert, who was involved with the Western Jets program in the TAC Cup, has been one of the club’s key midfielders in recent seasons.
He played just nine senior matches in 2017.
Melton South was involved in a well-known contract dilemma last year.
The Panthers were locked in a dispute over Melton footballer Matt Notman, which was eventually resolved.
Notman was cleared to Melton South after the teams clashed in round one.
The two Melton-based clubs are set to lock horns in round one of the 2018 season on Saturday, April 21.