Tasmania duo to bolster Leitchville-Gunbower flag defence

HEATHCOTE District league premier Leitchville-Gunbower has added a pair of players with Tasmania State League experience to its list for the 2018 season.

SIGNING ON: Leitchville-Gunbower Tasmanian recruits Russell De Groot and Jack Gleeson with new coach Michael Pilcher. De Groot and Gleeson join the Bombers after the club won this year's Heathcote District league grand final against North Bendigo. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

SIGNING ON: Leitchville-Gunbower Tasmanian recruits Russell De Groot and Jack Gleeson with new coach Michael Pilcher. De Groot and Gleeson join the Bombers after the club won this year's Heathcote District league grand final against North Bendigo. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

The Bombers have announced the signings of Russell De Groot and Jack Gleeson, with the pair having both played with Clarence in Tasmania.

“Both have played state level football in Tasmania,” Bombers coach Michael Pilcher said on Friday.

“Russell has been out of the game a little bit with some foot issues, but he is that big body who can play centre half-forward, centre half-back or in the ruck.

“He has some great versatility and we think Jack will also complement him as well as an on-baller/half-forward.

“We’re really happy to have both joining us.”

As well as signing with Leitchville-Gunbower, De Groot had also been keenly sought-after earlier this year for his cricketing talents.

RELATED – PILCHER TO COACH LEITCHVILLE-GUNBOWER

De Groot has previously played second XI cricket for Tasmania and is playing in the Bendigo District Cricket Association this season with Huntly-North Epsom, but he’s yet to take to the field in the first two rounds.

As well as the additions of De Groot and Gleeson, Pilcher also confirmed the re-signings at the Bombers include premiership captain Daniel Couwenberg, grand final best-on-ground Tim Lincoln and century goalkicker Matt Perri.

RELATED – DE GROOT COUP FOR HUNTLY-NORTH EPSOM

The Bombers last month defeated North Bendigo by 26 points to win their first premiership since 1995.

At this stage five Bombers won’t be back next year for their flag defence.

Steve Pretty (retired), Dan Meroli (working in Darwin), Jackson McEwen (Rochester), Adam Decicco (Cobram) and Ayden Walton (Moama) are departures.

But there is plenty of young talent waiting in the wings after winning the under-17 premiership this year.

Meanwhile, the Bombers have had a one point reduction to their player points cap for next year, dropping from 44 to 43.

RELATED – YOUR CLUB’S PLAYER POINTS IN 2018

• Heathcote District 2018 player point allocations:

Colbinabbin – 43

Elmore – 46

Heathcote – 46

Huntly – 43

LBU – 46

Leitchville – 43

Mount Pleasant – 46

North Bendigo – 40

White Hills – 43