Wagga Tigers forward John Buchanan has confirmed his departure to the Ovens and Murray League.
Buchanan had been training with Albury Tigers before Christmas and has now decided to make the move south.
He will link up with Wagga Tigers premiership teammates Brady Morton and Jake Gaynor at the Ovens and Murray League powerhouse.
Buchanan, 25, said it was an extremely difficult decision to leave Tigers, especially given the recent player exodus.
“That’s probably why I held on for so long, it wasn’t an easy decision at all,” Buchanan said.
“They’re my junior club, I won a premiership there and to see what’s going on there is pretty hard.
“But I’m 25 now and I saw it as a very good opportunity. If I had of been 22-23, I probably wouldn’t have done it.”
Buchanan is a big loss for Tigers. While only small in stature, he has held down full-forward for the club over the past four years and done so with aplomb.
Buchanan kicked 191 goals for Tigers over the past three seasons, won a premiership and was the Riverina League’s leading goalkicker in 2015 and 2016.
He is looking forward to a fresh start at Albury.
“I wanted to do it, I wanted a challenge,” he said.
“I want to see how I fare down at Albury. The other thing is that there is so much amazing talent in the side there so I want to go down there and learn, as much as anything.”
Buchanan said he was proud of all that he achieved at Robertson Oval, and that the premiership will always remain a cherished memory.
“The leading goalkicking just comes. That’s a good thing that comes from being in a good side and being on the end of good play,” he said.
“The premiership was very, very special. That’s the best thing I’ve done in my career. It was sensational, and unforgettable.”
Buchanan will move to Albury in coming months. He hopes to find a spot in a forward pocket at his new club.
“I’m going to work my ass off and see where I can slot into the side,” Buchanan said.