Premiers welcome back overseas connection

Wodonga's Andrew Weighell has been able to return this year after visa issues ruled him out last season.
Wodonga's Andrew Weighell has been able to return this year after visa issues ruled him out last season.

The only clubs without overseas players last season have joined the international ranks.

Lavington has ex-New Zealand international Daryl Tuffey, while Wodonga has signed English pair Andrew Weighell and Rob Foreman 

But Wodonga says it would have joined the association queue last summer, but for unforseen circumstances.

“Andrew was always coming back, he made it very clear with the club when he left at the end of the previous year (2015-16) and it was vice versa with the club,” coach Robbie Jackson.

“He was basically coming back last year but just had issues with his visa, so it has just been pushed back a year.”

Weighell made an enormous impact in his first border stint but, interestingly, Jackson says the powerful left-hander has a point to prove.

“We all saw in the first half of that year he was extremely good and in the second half he tapered off a bit,” he said.

“That year he went home we finished second and I think that sits in the back of his mind as well.”

Wodonga fell to Belvoir in that grand final, collapsing for only 116 after the Eagles set a reasonable target of 220.

Weighell made seven in the decider.

Meanwhile, Albury’s import will play the first competition game of his life against New City at its Urana Road Oval on Saturday.

Navroop Singh arrived from India three years ago after growing up with street cricket, or scratch matches.

“I just rocked up to training and ‘Poppa’s’ (coach Alex Popko) was like, ‘would you like to bowl’ and he liked it,” the 21-year-old said.

It was just what the club needed after a number of potential recruits failed to sign.

“He let a couple through and I thought, ‘he’s pretty slippery’,” Popko said.

“Anyway, he’s had an old ball and he’s got it swinging both ways and he’s knocked my middle peg out of the ground about third ball, so I thought ‘we might have one here’.”

Singh spent his first two years in Australia in Melbourne, before moving to the border in his hospitality studies.