GRANT Weeks shocked the Bendigo football community yesterday when he announced he was quitting Golden Square to play with Rochester in the Goulburn Valley Football League.
The triple premiership player and goalkicking machine had signed to play with Golden Square in 2013, but the lure of playing a better standard of footy alongside some of his best mates was too strong for the 24-year-old.
“I went to school in Rochester, I’ve always wanted to play in the GVFL,’’ Weeks told the Bendigo Advertiser.
“It’s the hardest decision I’ve had to make in footy, but I want to give myself every chance of succeeding in the GVFL and this is the right time for me to go.
“I’ve got a lot of mates at Rochester which is a big attraction for me, it’s only 20 minutes from my farm at Colbinbabbin and there’s the lure of playing a better standard of footy.
“There’s not many 100 point games in the GVFL... the competition is tougher and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I loved my time at Square and I’ll always cherish it and I’m sure I’ll end up back at the club down the track.”
Weeks departs Golden Square with an astounding record.
Three flags, 451 goals in 59 games, including a BFNL season record of 164 this year and twice an All-Australian at the Australian Country Football Championships.
Golden Square released a statement last night delcaring it would not stand in the way of Weeks joining the Tigers.
“The Golden Square Football Club wish to announce that Grant Weeks will not be playing with the football club in season 2013,’’ football operations manager Shawn McCormick said in a statement.
“Grant was contracted to play for the club in the upcoming season, but the club are not prepared to stand in the way of Grant’s wishes.
“The club would like to take this opportunity to thank Grant for his fantastic service to the club both as a player and individual and we wish him well with his future pursuits.”
Square captain Simon Rosa said the club would move on.
“Obviously, Grant will be a great loss and we are disappointed he is moving on both as a person and a footballer,’’ Rosa said in the statement.
“Moving forward it will give other young players opportunities and/or new recruits. We are looking forward to the challenge of the 2013 season.”
Rochester had chased Weeks doggedly without success in recent years.
The Tigers had reportedly offered Weeks significantly more money than he was earning at Golden Square.
“I actually approached Rochester a few weeks ago... they didn’t chase me,’’ Weeks said.
“I’m not leaving because of anything going wrong at Golden Square. I would have earned more money at Golden Square.
“It’s not about money. In the past few weeks I’ve realised I’m not 21 anymore and I need to have a crack at the GVFL now.
“People can think what they like about the money, but that’s not what it’s about.”
His Golden Square premiership team-mates Brayden Dorrington and Callum Sharp and South Bendigo midfielder Daniel Anderson, who works for Weeks, have also signed with Rochester.
As well as looking for a new full-forward, Golden Square remains on the hunt for a new senior coach.