Player bonus for reigning premier Warrnambool before HFNL season launch

REIGNING premier Warrnambool carried a bright outlook into  the Hampden Football Netball League season launch last night.

The Blues, gunning for a hat-trick of flags this season, yesterday confirmed dual premiership player Jake O’Donnell would be part of their campaign.

The small forward/midfielder had left Warrnambool to pursue university studies and was planning to play in Melbourne.

But he will now return to be part of the Blues’ campaign.

Coach Scott Carter said O’Donnell was an impressive youngster who was valued by the Blues.

“He’s a good little player,” he said. “He will play this Saturday in our practice match against Ararat at Reid Oval.”

An added bonus for Warrnambool could be three-time premiership player Josh Walters. 

Walters, a medallist in last year’s grand final and a former league best and fairest winner, had hinted at retirement after the 2013 flag. But he has been training and by all reports is fit and moving well.

Carter said the Blues looked like entering the start of the season with all but two of last year’s premiership side after  midfielder Tim Hunt and Will Jacobs having moved interstate.

“We haven’t been able to go out and recruit profile-type players but we have put a lot of effort into retaining our senior list,” he said.

“Only Hunt and Jacobs are gone. That’s unheard of. It’s not easy to do (keep a list together).”

More than 80 guests attended last night’s HFNL season launch.

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