Zach Ballard is one of a number of Northern Blues who has departed the club. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jason Heidrich)
While the excitement surrounds the Northern Blues’ new signings for the new year, the club can also confirm those who have left the club ahead of the upcoming season.
With the Development League no more in 2018, there has been a significant turnover of players for the Blues over recent months.
Included in the departures are Zach Ballard, Sean Bolger, Tim Jones, Sam Russell and Dyson Stevens, who have played critical roles with the VFL side in recent seasons.
Ballard joined the club from the Northern Knights at the end of 2014, going onto be vice-captain of the club for the last two years. He was a significant contributor to Northern on and off the field, including being acknowledged as Best Clubman in 2016.
Bolger arrived at the Blues in 2013 to be one of Northern’s longest-serving players last year, while Stevens won the club’s Development best-and-fairest award in 2016.
Jones and Russell both came to the club two years ago, making instant impacts in the senior side particularly in their debut years of 2017.
Jones leaves as the last Development best-and-fairest winner at Northern, while Russell will join his brother and former Northern Blue Fraser at Buninyong in the Central Highlands Football League.
Also featured in the departure list is Cameron O’Shea, with the reigning Laurie Hill Trophy winner drafted to Carlton after his fantastic year with Northern.
They join Luke Russell, who announced after the 2017 season that he was returning to his home state of Tasmania to be a playing assistant coach with Burnie.
Alex Browne and Ben Casley announced their retirements from the competition midway through last year.
Four Blues from last season will be plying their trade with other VFL clubs: Kye Declase (Werribee), Jacob Duscher, Sam Fowler (both Frankston) and Jaylon Thorpe (Williamstown).
A full list of the players departing the club can be found below.
The Northern Blues would like to wish all those who have represented the jumper the very best of luck with their future endeavours, and thank them for their commitment shown throughout their time at the club.
Zach Ballard (Warrandyte), Cameron Barrett (Balranald), Sean Bolger (Avondale Heights), Jake Bradley, Alex Browne (VFL retirement), Matthew Burt (University Blacks), Ben Casley (VFL retirement), Jayden Collins (Boronia), Luke Collins, James Corboy (St Kevin’s Old Boys), Mitch Dawson, Kye Declase (Werribee), Jacob Duscher (Frankston), Sam Fowler (Frankston), Sam Glover (West-Preston), Tim Jones (Montrose), Bailey Jordan (Glenelg), Will Krithararis (Deer Park), Jack Mahon (Doncaster), Rob Maibaum (Knox), Bior Malual (Airport West), Cameron O’Shea (Carlton), Sam Peet (Watsonia), Michael Romero (St Kevin’s Old Boys), Tyler Roos, Luke Russell (Tasmania), Sam Russell (Buningyong), Dyson Stevens (Deer Park), Jaylon Thorpe (Williamstown), Matthew Walson