NEW Wodonga Diamonds coach Jimmy Bell has been forced to cull more than 10 players due to a massive off-season influx.
The 2011 cup winner has had more than 35 on the training track at some sessions this year, with the club unable to accommodate everyone, forcing Bell to offload some players to rival clubs.
“We’ve got about 31 players and we’ve let 14 players go so that’s been a really hard thing to do,” said Bell, who has replaced Paul Millynn as coach.
“I’ve never been in a situation in this country to let people go.”
Diamonds have recruited strongly, picking up former Myrtleford utility Jesse Stephens, as well as striker Nagus Henry from Melbourne state league outfit Casey Comets.
In a further boost, playmaker Jedd Gvozdenovic has returned to the club.
Bell will enter a team in today’s Andronicos Cup at Jelbart Park, but said the side would be mainly made up of his second-tier players.
“I’m not entering a senior team because we have a game on Thursday against Cobram in the seniors,” he said.
“We’ll use it to get some run in the ressies legs.
“It will still be a quality team.
“We’ve got to let the youth progress into our seniors. It gives me a chance to have a look at some other teams.”
Albury City, St Patrick’s, Boomers FC, Melrose FC and Wangaratta City have also entered, as well as Shepparton FC, Caulfield Cobras, Bundoora United and Tuggeranong United.
Albury City president Robert Brown, who’s club is hosting the event, said ground availability meant there would be no women’s division this year.
“A couple of years ago we had access to the four fields but this year we had two fields,” he said.
The winner will receive $500.
Pool games will be 15-minute halves, with the final 20-minute halves.
Games start at 11am, with the final 6.30pm.