An AFL draftee, more senior recruits and positivity around the return of an under-18 football team - Maryborough Football Netball Club has plenty to smile about.
The Magpies were elated to see former junior Kai Lohmann selected by the Brisbane Lions with the final pick of the first round of the AFL National Draft on Thursday night.
Lohmann started his junior career at Princes Park and represented the Bendigo Junior Football League at inter-league level before going to school at St Patrick's College in Ballarat where he aligned with Lake Wendouree FC and NAB League club the Greater Western Victoria Rebels.
The clever half-forward/midfielder always showed plenty of ability, dating back to his under-12 and under-14 days with Maryborough.
"We're very happy for Kai and his family,'' Maryborough FNC president Brendan Roughead said.
"It shows that you can be at a club like Maryborough and go down the right path and fulfil your footy dream.
"Just like Jed Adcock, Stewie Crameri and others have done in the past."
Kai's older brother Jacob, a former skipper of St Pat's and GRV Rebels player, is returning to Maryborough as a key signing for the 2022 BFNL season.
"We're very happy to have Jacob back at the club. He's a terrific young player,'' Roughead said.
Maryborough's senior side won one game out of 12 matches this year and finished ninth on the ladder.
Coach Justin Abrams quit and club great Rick Andrews took on the role.
Andrews, who previously was a development coach at the Rebels in the NAB League, hasn't wasted any time in adding to the Pies' senior group.
Aside from Jacob Lohmann's return to the Pies, Andrews has signed Paddy Chard, Lachlan Mackie and Sam Mackie from VAFA club Marcellin and Anthony Tatchell has joined from Charlton.
"We've been training for three or four weeks now and everything is going really well,'' Roughead said.
"We're getting really good numbers on the track and there's some excitement around the club."
The strong numbers also relate to the Pies' under-18 group.
The club has been without an under-18 team for some years, but Roughead said the signs were good for a return in 2022.
"We had 14 under-18 players at training, so we're hopeful we'll get the under-18s up for next year,'' Roughead said.
"It's all looking positive."
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