Gareth Bowes back in the BFNL… but as a Tiger

Gareth Bowes playing for Bears Lagoon-Serpentine in the 2014 Loddon Valley league grand final.
Gareth Bowes playing for Bears Lagoon-Serpentine in the 2014 Loddon Valley league grand final.

A DECADE after he was pipped by one vote in the Michelsen Medal, Gareth Bowes is returning to the Bendigo Football-Netball League in 2018 after signing with Kyneton.

Bowes previously spent one season in the BFNL with Gisborne in 2008 when he finished runner-up by one vote to Eaglehawk’s Shannon Milward in the Michelsen Medal.

Bowes not only joins the Tigers as a midfielder, but he has also signed on as an assistant to coach Luke Beattie.

“He will be one of our main on-ball clearance players,” Beattie said on Friday.

“It will take him a little bit of time to get back into the football mentality and fitness base, but one of his qualities is his remarkable ability to apply himself to the point where he will always present himself in the best manner and that’s a great leadership trait for the young players in the club.

“Gareth will be a bit of a cross between Rhys Magin and Josh Govan in that he will have the ability to win clearances, but also break away from that immediate stoppage space that will, hopefully, help us to get a few more inside 50s with that first use of the footy.”

As well as a season in the Bendigo league with Gisborne in 2008, Bowes has also played in the Loddon Valley league, lining up in 17 games for Bears Lagoon-Serpentine during 2014 and 2015.

The recruitment of Bowes, 30, follows the Tigers earlier signing announcements of Jack and Jayden Exell and Jake Ward.

“We’re in as good a position as we’ve ever been to be able to sit back and really hone in on what we needed as far as our recruiting needs,” Beattie said.

“We’ve got a quick moving forward in Jack and a key defender and leader in Jayden, who has already impressed at training level.

“Jake is a strong and mobile centre half-back or centre half-forward and now we’ve also got Gareth as an assistant coach and to add to our midfield.”

The departures from the Tigers include their two top forwards of recent seasons in Ben Weightman (278 goals the past four years) and Mitch Scholard (186 goals the past three years).

The announcement of Bowes’ signing tops off a landmark week for Kyneton, which has elected its first female president for what will be its 150th anniversary season – Karen O’Sullivan.

The Tigers have finished fifth three years in a row.