Ballarat City has been dealt an early blow ahead of its pre-season campaign, with the news Liam Harding and Jake Francis will be leaving the club.
The valuable members of last season’s National Premier League two west team have made the move to Caroline Springs, formerly Sunshine, George Cross which is now under the tutelage of former Sebastopol Vikings coach Corey Smith.
The more experienced of the duo, Harding, played 27 games last season – mainly as a holding midfielder – on his way to winning the club’s best and fairest.
While Francis, one of City’s most talented youngsters, is an attacking midfielder and at just 20 years of age had established himself at NPL level, playing 28 games in 2018.
Just a week after Ballarat City announced James Robinson would return to the club to take on the newly-created, all-encompassing role of director of football, this is an untimely hit for the NPL2 side.
George Cross finished on the bottom on the NPL2 ladder, therefore being relegated to FFV state league one.