Didak camp disappointed Panthers pull the pin

CONTROVERSY: Alan Didak playing for YCW last Saturday. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

CONTROVERSY: Alan Didak playing for YCW last Saturday. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

THE manager of Alan Didak is disappointed Marong has pulled out of the one-off game of the Collingwood premiership player for the Panthers next month.

Didak was to have played for Marong against Newbridge in the Loddon Valley Football League on Saturday, June 14.

The Panthers announced the signing of Didak for the round nine game in the Bendigo Advertiser on April 21.

However, 10 days later on May 1, rival LVFL club YCW announced Didak would play for the Eagles against Bridgewater on May 10.

With Didak already having played once in the LVFL this season, the Panthers won't be playing second-fiddle and won't be going ahead with his appearance against the Maroons.

Didak's manager, Scott McConville, said he wasn't aware both the Eagles and Panthers were in the same league when the deals were done.

"We put the feelers out on what clubs were interested and had a lot of clubs, both metropolitan and regional, who put their hand up to say they wanted to do something with him," McConville said on Wednesday.

"We had no idea at all that YCW and Marong were in the same league, but we never saw it as a major issue and that's why we didn't focus on it.

"We often do two clubs from the same league in the same division down here (metropolitan competitions), because our experience shows us that clubs are drawing from vastly different patronage groups.

"We do clubs down here that are five kilometres apart, but their supporter groups and associates are very different to the one down the road.

"YCW and Marong are further than five kilometres apart, and we would have thought they'd draw from vastly different people... there may be a few common people who attended both games, but we saw it as two different groups, so that's why it wasn't an issue for us."

McConville also believes there was sufficient time between the two games, with Didak's LVFL appearances scheduled five weeks apart.

"The dates are removed from each other, which gave Marong a whole lot of time to do marketing and for people to forget he'd played at YCW previously," McConville said.

"We did everything we could to try to make it work, but we didn't see it an issue with the clubs being in the same league."

Marong president Craig Gadsden said the Panthers' decision to pull out of the Didak game was based on "commercial viability".

"We didn't think it was commercially viable for us with Alan Didak playing with a rival club in the same league a month prior to playing with us, so that's why we've pulled out of it," Gadsden said.

"We're disappointed we weren't informed he was playing with a rival club in the same league prior to making the booking with him."

Gadsden said the Panthers had received a positive response to the Didak signing following their announcement.

"We had massive interest and people ringing from all over saying they would come to the game," Gadsden said.

"We believe we could have done a really good promotion for it and made a good day out of it, but we'll move on."

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