NEW CHALLENGE: Wagga Tigers midfielder Shaun Flanigan has joined Ovens and Murray League club Wodonga Bulldogs for next season. Picture: Laura HardwickWAGGA Tigers’ Ron Hutchins Medallist Shaun Flanigan has signed with Ovens and Murray League club Wodonga Bulldogs.
Flanigan, who was best afield in the Riverina league club’s grand final win over Leeton-Whitton, has joined a growing list of new faces at John Flower Oval.
Murray Bushrangers duo Trent Williamson and Mason Marr have committed to play at their home club, along with Holbrook defenderLuke Carmen and exciting Tallangatta prospect Rory Quinn.
AFL draft prospects Isaac Wallace and Trent McMullan are also chances of joining the Bulldogsif overlooked later this month.
Flanigan had been considering a move to the Ovens and Murray League since late in the 2015 season and wanted to get a taste of a better standard of football.
“That’s pretty much it. I wanted to test myself at a higher standard,” Flanigan said.
A relationship with former Wagga Tigers player Brett Doswell led him to Wodonga.
“Mainly just the connection with Dossy there,” he said.
“That made it pretty easy.”
Flanigan plans to travel from Wagga to meet his commitments with the Bulldogs, but has not ruled out a move to the border eventually.
A Tigers junior, Flanigan said it was a difficult decision to make to leave Robertson Oval.
“Definitely, it was pretty hard,” he said.
“That group of blokes we’ve got there, and just the way we won it, it was hard to walk away from that.”
Wodonga Bulldogs coach Dean Harding believes Flanigan is coming to the Ovens and Murray League at exactly the right time.
“We see Shaun as a midfielder whocan win his own footy and also hurt the opposition on the outside with his great ball use,” Harding said.
“He fits into that right age bracket where his best is not far away.”
Flanigan, 23, has played over 150 matches for Wagga Tigers and is a two-time best and fairest winner.
His signing comes only days after Corowa-Rutherglen picked up four Riverina league players and the trend looks set to continue with several more Wagga Tigers premiership youngsterson the radar of Ovens and Murray clubs.
Wodonga will also have Steve Murray on a full-time basis this season while Ricky Whitehead has switched from North Albury.
“We all understand we have a lot of work to do to get to the next level, but judging by the turn up at our first training session on Tuesday night, the boys are keen to keep improving and prepared to put that work in,” Harding said.
Wodonga has beefed up its coachinggroup overthe off-season with Zac Fulford, Sam Maher and Tom Anson stepping into roles.
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