THE talent drain from Wodonga Raiders has continued with Eddie Prato quitting the club.
The former Western Bulldogs rookie has told the club he won’t be making the weekly trek from Melbourne next season.
“We have pulled the pin on re-signing Prato,” newly appointed Raiders coach Ken Stevenson said yesterday.
“He was going to move to the Border and we were going to find him a suitable job.
“But he has decided to stay in Melbourne and we’re more than happy with that.”
Prato’s departure is another savage blow for the Raiders, who are reeling from the loss of Doug Strang medallist Patty Rose (Avondale Heights), Ben Davies (Wangaratta), David Stretton (Lara) and Scott Meyer (Beaconsfield).
Midfielder Luke Schilg (Brock-Burrum), Aydan Brown (Thurgoona) and Daniel Cassidy (Jindera) have also left.
Prato played five games with North Ballarat reserves before joining Raiders for the round 6 clash against Lavington.
The athletic big man played nine games and booted 16 goals before injuring his knee against North Albury in round 14, which ended his season.
Western Bulldogs selected Prato at No. 59 in the 2009 rookie draft and he spent two years at the club.
Stevenson said speculation about reliable defender Dean Heta also leaving was wrong.
“Dean has re-signed and has been training,” he said.
Heta had an outstanding season in defence and finished third in the club’s best and fairest behind Davies and Rose.
Former Howlong and Rand-Walbundrie spearhead Trent Ball is the Raiders reserves coach.
He suffered a career-ending knee injury when playing for Howlong.
The Raiders started training last week.