LAVINGTON has ended months of recruiting frustration by luring former midfielder Luke Brauer back to the club.
After narrowly missing out on several players from VFL ranks in recent months, the Panthers finally landed a coup with Brauer set to add further depth to the Ovens and Murray club’s running brigade.
Brauer played for Central Murray league club Koondrook Barham last year and previously had two successful seasons with Queensland club Noosa where he played in back-to-back premierships.
He topped the AFLQ’s division 2 best and fairest award with former North Albury player Brad Horn in 2010 but was ineligible after being suspended in the last round of the home-and-away season.
“It’s good to be coming back,” Brauer said yesterday.
“All of my best mates are from Albury and my partner’s immediate family and friends are from the region as well.
“I’m looking forward to it.”
Brauer, 30, looks set to return to the league a better player after representing Queensland and NSW at the Australian Country Football Championships in 2010 and 2012 respectively.
Saker said the club was delighted to welcome back a player of Brauer’s ilk.
“It’s great to get him back,” he said.
“He’s in that same age mould of Matt Pendergast, Kade Stevens and Jay Banks and it’s good to get some added experience into the side.
“He’s played for two states in the past few years so he’s been playing good footy.”
Lavington has been hit hard by departures with Chaz Sargeant, Matt Lee, James Eastoe, Chris Duck and Luke McNeil among the losses, while the Panthers are sweating on Josh Hamilton who is considering taking up boxing.