SEVEN footballers appear to be in limbo a week before their opening games of the season as District league clubs appear reluctant to challenge Port Fairy’s tough stance on contracted players.
Nanjing Night Net

After Dennington’s failed appeals against clearance denials for Chris Vickey and Rocky Miller, fellow Warrnambool and District Football Netball League clubs Allansford and Merrivale are unlikely to follow a similar path in the pursuit of 2011 Port Fairy players.

That leaves Hampden league representative Sam Dwyer and Scott Kelly (both Merrivale) and Louis Fary and Sam Burchell (both Allansford) in limbo ahead of next week’s first round matches.

Terang Mortlake, which is hoping to secure Seagulls ruckman Robbie Hare, is yet to decide its course of action.

Dwyer is still aiming to play with Merrivale, but he is not confident he will be cleared after Dennington’s unsuccessful appeals.

If he doesn’t get a clearance, he said it was likely that he would have a season off football. “But I haven’t made a definite decision yet,” he said.

Kelly, who wanted to make it clear he had nothing against the Seagulls, said he wanted to play alongside his brother Brad and cousin James, who captains Merrivale.

“I played all my juniors at Merrivale and I just want to come back to play with my brother and my cousin Jimmy,” he said.

“I had five great years at Port Fairy and I have a lot of friends there. I don’t want this to be a ‘me against them’ thing.”

Kelly said he had been in regular contact with Port Fairy and would continue to talk with the Seagulls in the hope he could get to the Tigers this season.

Allansford football manager Glenn Byron said the Cats had ruled out appealing against the clearance knockbacks for Burchell and Fary.

He said the club had met the Seagulls and would continue discussions in the hope of reaching a solution.

“We are fully respectful of their position on the matter,” Byron said.

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