Lavington president Mark Sanson says the club won't stop any of its stars playing at the highest level possible.
Dual best and fairest Marty Brennan signed with Werribee this week in a savage blow to the Panthers' finals aspirations.
The midfield dynamo is set to be reunited with premiership team-mates Shaun Mannagh and Aidan Johnson at Werribee.
The loss of the trio alongside former coach Simon Curtis (Myrtleford) and star defender Nick Meredith (season off) robs the Panthers of their five biggest names from the premiership winning side.
However, Sanson said the club gained immense satisfaction from seeing players challenging themselves at the highest level.
"We are never going to stand in the way, as a club, of players who want to better themselves and play at a higher standard of football," Sanson said.
"We see it as a positive from a club point of view.
"We wish them all the best and hopefully see them return to Lavington at some stage in the future as better players for the experience."
Brennan arrived at Lavington Sports Ground in 2017 and had an immediate impact, claiming the best and fairest in his debut season in the Ovens and Murray.
The classy ball winner has since stamped himself as one of the premier midfielders in the competition.
The 25-year-old was a runaway winner of the Panthers' best and fairest again last year to further enhance his reputation and is about to reach the prime of his career.
Sanson had little doubt that Brennan had all the attributes to succeed at VFL level.
"Marty has developed into a magnificent player in the O&M," he said.
"I'm sure he will do very well in the VFL."
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Sanson attributed a lot of the Panthers' previous finals success to players who had had a stint in the VFL and then returned to Lavington Sports Ground.
He cited Kade Stevens, Luke Garland and Nick Meredith who have all won best and fairests with the Panthers as classic examples.
"The club has built a lot of its success over the past two decades in players going to play VFL and then returning as much better and accomplished players," Sanson said.
"Kade Stevens, Luke Garland and Nick Meredith are all prime examples.
"James Saker and Brant Dickson also both arrived at the club from the VFL.
"All these players have been instrumental in the club playing finals and going on to have the ultimate success."
Brennan travelled from the Border to attend training with Werribee before Christmas but recently located to Geelong.
He will also be re-united with former Panthers coach James Saker.
Saker is a defensive coach with the Tigers who Brennan played under when he first arrived from Rutherglen.
"It should be good fun, I can't wait to get settled in and have some fun at the same time," Brennan said.
"Now is probably the perfect time for me to have a crack at the VFL, I've matured now and you're always going to regret not having a go at a higher level, so I thought I'd give it a shot."
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