MILAWA has landed a huge coup on the eve of the Ovens and King league season by signing four-time North Albury best and fairest winner Brandon Ryan.
Ryan will debut for the Demons against Benalla All Blacks at Milawa on Saturday after agreeing to terms yesterday.
He was also heavily courted by Wangaratta Rovers and recently spoke to North Albury about having an eighth season at Bunton Park.
“I thought I would go and have a kick with my brothers-in-laws Luke Sims and Brendan Gamze,” Ryan said.
“I’m looking forward to it.
“I was training out there the other night and the country feel was how I remember it at Ganmain.
“It will be good.”
Ryan will add further grunt to Milawa’s already potent midfield under first-year coach John Conroy.
After a decorated career with home club Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong in the Riverina league, Ryan had a stint with Wangaratta before joining North Albury.
He played in the Hoppers’ losing 2007 grand final team and is the only player in the club’s history to win four best and fairests.
“I had a lot of good times at North Albury,” Ryan said.
“It’s just time for a change and it is a bit closer to home.
“Milawa is looking fairly good again so hopefully it’s a good year.”
Glenrowan and Moyhu should turn on the closest match of the opening round.
The Kelly Tigers and Tarrawingee are regarded as the teams most likely to stop Milawa in its quest for back-to-back flags and Nigel Robinson’s line-up should start with a narrow win.