Kangaroo Flat loses gun midfielder
KANGAROO Flat coach Jason Stevens harbors no ill-feeling towards the Bendigo Gold after losing another of the Roos' star players to the VFL club in Mitch Hough.
Hough's signing with the Gold comes in the wake of former Kangaroo Flat coach Tyrone Downie also joining the VFL club.
Downie and Hough finished first and second in Kangaroo Flat's best and fairest this year and were both selected in the Addy's Bendigo Football League Team of the Year.
Stevens said while he was disappointed to lose both Hough - who the Roos had announced last month would be an assistant coach - and Downie, he couldn't begrudge the pair for wanting to play at the higher level of the VFL.
"Obviously, it's disappointing to lose a quality player, but it's an opportunity to play VFL footy for Houghy, and I was also supportive of Tigga in that regard when he made his choice," Stevens said.
"From my perspective, I think it's a good thing that we've had some players at the club who have shown to be good enough players to get a look in at the Gold and hopefully, others from other clubs follow.
"We won't hide from the fact Houghy and Tigga were our two best players, but what it does is provide opportunities for players and it creates a clear slate to work with.
"We've been working hard to recruit new players to the club and we have some really positive things happening.
"Next year is Kangaroo Flat's 150th year and we're certainly not just going to be sitting on our hands - we'll be doing all we can to put out a competitive side."
Hough, 30, said he was excited by the challenge of stepping up to the VFL.
"It was a big decision having already told Kangaroo Flat I was going to be part of their coaching team, but they were really supportive and I'm keen to go back there when I'm done at the Gold," Hough said.
"Having a crack at the VFL is something that has burned at me, so I'm looking forward to it."
Hough will take on the added responsibility of playing midfield development coach with the Gold.
"Mitch is a great fit for us," Gold coach Aussie Jones said.
"Taking on the playing midfield development coach was something that really appealed to him as it will give him a chance to be involved in our coaching structure, which will be a great experience."
Hough was one of the gun midfielders in the BFL this year with the Roos before suffering an ankle injury late in the season.