KOROIT will enter the 2014 Hampden league season without Ben Dobson who has signed on with Geelong Football League club St Mary’s.
Dobson will leave a hole in the Saints line up after a dominant 2013 where he played a key role in leading Koroit to a grand final appearance.
Dobson was among the Saints’ best players in their grand final loss to Warrnambool and was also runner-up to teammate Ben Goodall in the 2013 Maskell Medal.
While Dobson missed out on grand final glory for Koroit last season he has a premiership medal in his collection having been a member of the Saints’ 2009 grand final winning team.
The builder said greater work opportunities in Geelong had been a telling factor in his move.
“A good work opportunity came up in Geelong and there wasn’t much down here so that’s the main reason I’m heading off,” Dobson said.
“It is very hard to leave Koroit having fallen just short of a flag last year it would have been good to stay on and try and go one better.
“That’s why I suppose I left the decision to move until so late — I tried to get something set up with work but it just didn’t happen.”
Dobson has moved to Geelong to live and will join his St Mary’s teammates for his first training session with the club this morning.
He looks perfectly placed to take the step up to the higher level of the Geelong Football League having again been a key player for the Hampden interleague team in 2013.
It is not the first time Dobson has sought a higher level of football having played for the Geelong Falcons and games at VFL level with Geelong and North Ballarat.
During his time with the Geelong VFL team he also played with GFL team St Joseph’s.
Dobson was short on luck with his attempts to carve out a VFL career as he fell ill after playing four senior games for Geelong and injury curtailed his ambitions with North Ballarat.
St Mary’s will be looking to improve on its 2013 season when it finished seventh on the ladder and it has appointed coaches in Bryce Vincent and Rob Condy to lead the club this season.
Koroit coach Adam Dowie said while he is disappointed to lose Dobson, he left with the club’s blessing.
“Ben is a quality Koroit player and a Koroit person so while we would love to have him we wish him all the best,” Dowie said. “The GFL is obviously a better standard of football and we understand Ben wanting to go there and further develop his football.
“The Dobson name is synonymous with Koroit and Koroit will always been Ben’s club and it means a lot to him.”