HAMILTON Kangaroos will move the magnets in a bid to cover the departure of imposing key position player Lachie Waddell.
The star centre half-forward has departed to Geelong Football League powerhouse Newtown and Chilwell and will also feature for Geelong's Victorian Football League side.
Waddell arrived at Melville Oval as a boom recruit in October 2020, working as a town planner at Southern Grampians Shire, but has landed a role closer to Melbourne.
He shifted to Hamilton after a stint under Gary Ayres at Port Melbourne. Ayres' close friendship to former Kangaroos mentor Gerard FitzGerald helped the deal come about as well.
He said he does like up here and he likes the town and that. We might see him back one day, you just never know.- Hamish Waldron on Lachie Waddell
First-year coach Hamish Waldron said he was disappointed to lose a player of Waddell's quality but said club and player would part on positive terms. He wished the 202-centimetre prospect well in the VFL.
"He met a girl here, but she's moved down to Melbourne with him. We were thinking it might be the drawcard to get him to hang around for a years," Waldron laughed.
"He said he does like up here and he likes the town and that. We might see him back one day, you just never know.
"He was living back this way and was going to ask them if he would be able to have us as his home club but he just got a job back in Melbourne so he's moving back there."
Waldron said Darcy Russell was looking as fit as ever and would form a key pillar up forward in Waddell's absence. He said it meant Hugh Douglas, who has played footy on the wing in recent seasons, could be swung back forward to offer another tall option.
He also tipped Noah Uebergang as a dangerous forward-type. Hamilton Kangaroos averaged a total score of 59.6 points in 2021 and will be keen to put more pressure on the scoreboard in 2022.
Hamilton Kangaroos has otherwise recruited Nathan Fall from South West District league club Cavendish, Mick McMeel from Mininera league club Glenthompson Dunkeld and brothers Josh and Andrew Pepper from Branxholme-Wallacedale and Leopold respectively.
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Angus Noske was to play at Glenthompson Dunkeld but has come back to the Kangaroos. Noske featured seven times in 2021 as a senior player, also notching up five reserves games.
Hamilton Kangaroos will play Koroit away from home in round one. Waldron said the match would be a good test for his side and anticipated a tight tussle.
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