A strong contingent of Hampden league exports tasted premiership glory for Leopold in the powerful Geelong league on Saturday, September 23.
Warrnambool's Mitch Burgess, former Portland players Connor Giddings and Harris Jennings and Hamilton Kangaroos' Andrew Pepper all featured for the Lions in their 50-point grand final victory against South Barwon, 13.16 (94) to 6.8 (44).
Former Kolora-Noorat wingman Luke Justin was also part of the premiership winning side coached by ex-Geelong champion and AFL Hall of Fame member Garry Hocking.
Fellow south-west exports Ben Kellett and Sam James (North Warrnambool Eagles), Todd White and Taylor Mulraney (Koroit) and Dylan Starkie (Hamilton Kangaroos) all played for South Barwon in the decider, with Kellett named the best for his side.
Former Kolora-Noorat playing mentor Nick Bourke has signed with Bellarine league club Ocean Grove as its playing co-coach for season 2024.
The Power's favourite son, who won two Warrnambool and District league premierships, one as a 15-year-old in 2011, will link with re-signed senior coach Dave Farrell in a new-look role. The former Geelong rookie stepped down from the role of senior coach at the Power at the end of this season after two years in charge which saw him take the club to consecutive preliminary finals.
Fellow Power premiership player Scott Judd will also take on a new challenge, signing as senior coach of Mininera league club Caramut.
The Warrnambool and District league player has won two premierships at the Power and has been a league team of the year and interleague representative. He will bring a wealth of experience to the Swans.
A pair of Hampden league exports featured in state-league level grand finals over the weekend on opposite sides of the country.
North Warrnambool Eagles favourite son and Fremantle Dockers forward Josh Corbett was part of the Peel Thunder side which went down to East Fremantle in the WAFL grand final on Sunday, September 24. Corbett was creative up forward and had a hand in several goals in the 39-point defeat.
Portland export Keegan Gray, meanwhile, battled hard in the VFL grand final for Werribee, also on September 24 with Gold Coast Suns defeating the Tigers by 19 points at Ikon Park in Melbourne, 17.10 (112) to 14.9 (93).
The talented Tiger was one of the side's best on the day, kicking a goal and compiling 20 disposals in a polished performance.
The Tigers, coached by former AFL star and ex-North Warrnambool Eagle Michael Barlow, climbed from 10th on the VFL ladder in 2022 to a grand-final in his second season in charge.
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