Sweet seventeen leave Rupo

Rupertswood has undergone massive changes this off-season (Ljubica Vrankovic) 341896_21

Harper Sercombe

It may have been an off season many at Rupertswood would rather forget but new coach Brad Fox says it isn’t all bad news coming out of Salesian College.

With just weeks remaining until the Essendon District Football League division 1 season kicks off, 17 Rupertswood players have officially lodged transfer requests to leave the club.

The mass exodus from the club has paved the way for youth to take over which Fox said is something to be excited about.

Some of the club’s biggest names including Dean Galea, Brent Swallow, Dylan Podolczak, Jordie Tentanello and Jacob Chahine are among the outs.

“The good news is that we’ve got 15 players that are likely to play senior football that weren’t available to the club last year,” Fox said.

“We’ve got a number of players coming back that missed the season from long-term injury as well as some recruits that we’ve brought in.

“But it certainly means that we’re going to be a very young, and hopefully exciting team to watch.

“At this stage we’ve got 55 players available to us for seniors and reserves, we’d like to have a few more to that, it can be a long winter with injuries sometimes so I think most clubs would like to have around 60 players available for those two grades.

“So, we’re still on the lookout to add a few more, particularly people that might have played their juniors at Rupo and want to come back to the club.

“We’re building something very different from last year. The players are taking really strong ownership of what the culture around the club is going to be and it’s got to be a fun place to be.”

Since the damage to the club’s list has been known, rumours were circulating through EDFL circles that the club formally put a request into the league to drop from division 1 to division 2, however Fox was adamant it could not be further from the truth.

Rupertswood finished third in division 1 last season, losing to West Coburg in a preliminary final.

“There is no truth to those rumours whatsoever,” he said. “We’ll be playing in division 1 and we’ll be very competitive.”

Fox said returning to or exceeding last season’s results is not something he will be consuming his time thinking about.

“People get distracted by focussing on results instead of the work that needs to go into getting the results,” he said.

“You can’t focus on the result, you can know what you want to achieve but it’s the work you’ve got to put in to create that result is where your daily focus, hour by hour focus, training session by training session focus needs to go.”

Last week the club announced Daniel Kavanagh as its new captain for the 2024 season. He has been at the club for the past seven years playing across both the senior and reserves side. He also has experience captaining at the club across other grades.

“He is an outstanding individual, he’s so much of the ethos of what Rupo is,” Fox said.

“This is a guy that knows how to lead, and it sits comfortably with him and I look forward to supporting him to continue to grow as a leader.”