PRIZED Nirranda recruit Luke Weel is well-versed in the juggling act.
The 25-year-old – fresh off a summer of racing wingless sprintcars – has crossed from Simpson and is shaping as a key figure in Nirranda’s premiership defence.
While he expects to “pinch hit” in the Blues’ engine room, Weel is looking to cement a shut-down role across half back as Nirranda vies to replicate the success of 2016.
“The travel to Simpson got to me a little bit, but I still wanted to play for that country sort of a club,” Weel said of crossing to the Warrnambool and District Football Netball League.
“I’ve been in Warrnambool for the last two years. I knew a few guys out at Nirranda so it was a good choice for me.
“I would have liked to play Hampden (league) footy but I probably didn’t have the time.
“With the guys coming off the great year last year, and with losing a few and gaining a few, it’s interesting to see where we’ll be.”
Weel, a mechanic by trade, was impressed with the quality of the Blues’ recruits and believed the club had a strong side despite departures in the off-season.
“If we can get the guys on the track at the same time, we’ve (got a good side),” he said.
“We’ve got a few injuries already at the moment but if we can get them right and firing at the right time, we’ll be okay.
“As they showed last year you don’t have to finish top three to do well in finals if you are firing at the right time of year.”
The travel to Simpson got to me a little bit, but I still wanted to play for that country sort of a club.
He said while he continued to race wingless sprintcars with Matt and Kim Balcombe, his team had opted for a relaxed approach as he pursued football pre-season.
“We probably just picked and chose a few of the bigger races,” Weel said.
“We went down to Tassie and did the Australian championships, and we did the Victorian championships the other day.
“We just did the major shows. We went to Sydney, ran the New South Wales title and ran third in that… we’ve been thereabouts without winning any big shows.”
Nirranda’s premiership defence will face its toughest task of the season against Kolora-Noorat this weekend.
Warrnambool recruit Will Paulin will miss the game through injury, while lively forward Dylan Lees and Hayden Scoble have also dropped out.
Premiership defender Mathew Lloyd and run-with midfielder Dylan Willsher will return to the fold.
Coach Shane Threlfall said the club wasn’t risking niggling injuries in the early stages of the season.