01 Oct Lions sign Panther duo ahead of 2019 season
Belmont Lions coach Ash Witney has made the first move of the GDFL post-season after signing Bell Post Hill duo Nick Costello and Blake Podnar ahead of 2019.
“We’ve highlighted the sections of the ground that we need to cover next season so we’ve started off by adding these two to our personnel,” Witney said.
“Last year Tyler Jones copped a fair bit of heat because he was our only option up forward throughout the season.”
He added, “Jay Kirwood was also good up forward in games as but he had to learn how to play the role.”
“There are still another few guys we’re looking to get into between the midfield and backline but so far so good for now.”
Since crossing over to Anakie (and later Bell Post Hill) from North Shore in 2010, Costello has landed 320 goals across his 132 GDFL games.
He is best remembered for his four year tenure with the Panthers where he found 230 goals and starred in three senior premierships.
“He’s (Costello) lost a fair few kilos’ last pre-season and both he and Cam Addie made the difference when we played them in Round 1,” Witney added.
“The great thing about Cossie is that he only needs 20 minutes of footy and he can turn a game around but he’s also an older head at age 29 so the leadership will help our younger group.”
“Cossy was probably a bit closer to coming over last year but he wanted to try and get one more flag at Bell Post Hill which was fair enough.”
Podnar is best remembered for his best on ground performance in North Geelong’s 2013 senior premiership before brief stints at Corio and Bell Post Hill.
“Pods is a bit younger but he’s been training his backside off at the moment so we’re excited about what he can bring,” Witney continued.
“He was disappointed with his output this season at Bell Post Hill but at the same time he won a best on ground medal in a senior grand final as a teenager so he’s going to be good.”
Witney has also confirmed the re-signing of his entire senior playing group bar key defender Daniel Banister (who has been linked with a GFL club).
Second year Lion Luke Cornwell will also assist Witney from the sidelines in 2019 after suffering a knee injury in Round 15 against his former club Corio.
“I’m confident we can keep Daniel because he understands we’re building towards something but we’re pleased to announce that the remainder of the group has signed on,” he said.
“A few of the Bell Post Hill boys that we are speaking to are waiting to see who their new coach will be so a few talks have been put on hold but we’re speaking to players from a few clubs.”
By Alex Tigani
GDFL Media (01/10/2018)