CLASSY Wangaratta Rovers forward Joel Coombes has joined the merry-go-round at the W.J. Findlay Oval by signing with Essendon and District Football League club Glenroy.
Continuing a huge player turnover over the off-season, Coombes will stay in Melbourne after spending only half a season with the Hawks.
His departure means new coach Paul Maher could have as few as 12 players from last year’s winning elimination final against North Albury in his line-up when it takes on the Hoppers in round 1 next month.
“It’s going to be a very different side,” Maher said.
“We have had a big turnover of players and it’s been the nature of the Rovers for a while now.
“We have lost some good players and picked some good players up as well.
“Jamie Sheahan and Sam Carpenter didn’t play much at all and will be like new players for us.”
Sam Caruso (Pascoe Vale), Karl Norman (Glenrowan), John Conroy (Milawa), Kyle (Tarrawingee) and Lachie Raven (Pascoe Vale), Toby Ryan (Balwyn), Ross Hill (retired) and Coombes have moved on while Dan McCullough (overseas) and Ryan Stone (finger) are in doubt to play for the Hawks this year.
But unlike North Albury the Hawks have offset the departures, with former AFL players Daniel Archer, Jarrad Boumann and James Mulligan, Watsonia coach Lochy Dornauf and former Hawk Fraser Elliott coming on board.
Dylan Wilson (Murray Bushrangers), Darcy Booth (Colbinabbin) and Brenton Cooper (Western Australia) also shape as possible inclusions.
Aiden Yelland and Matt Suckling will play matches for the Hawks when free of VFL duties.
Maher said Wangaratta Rovers would have a virtually new goal-to-goal line, with the exception of skipper Tyson Hartwig.