KYABRAM Football Club has not deliberately gone out of its way to recruit any high profile recruits for the coming season — but one has landed in its hangar.
Michael Mattingly has joined the Kyabram Free Press as a cadet journalist and on Monday he committed to club coach Paul Newman to play with the Bombers this season.
Mattingly was also being strongly courted by rival GVL club Tatura and he admitted it had been ‘‘a very tough decision’’ to pick one club over the other.
‘‘I’m good mates with (former Kyabram player) Brad Ryan who plays for Tatura,’’ Mattingly said.
‘‘We got to know each other very well at Uni in Melbourne so it has been a very tough decision for me.
‘‘Both clubs impressed me greatly, and I got on really well with everyone I met from Tatura. In the end I was swayed by the fact I’m living and working in Kyabram and I think that will be of assistance in my career.
‘‘It’s just a big relief to have the decision made really, now I can just get on with it.’’
Newman said Mattingly’s signing was a ‘‘massive bonus’’ for the Bombers.
‘‘I wasn’t overly confident he would come our way but naturally rapt he has,’’ Newman said.
‘‘I’m very impressed with him as a person and I know he will fit in well at our club. I see him at the moment as being a utility player who can be used in a lot of positions.
‘‘I’ve been told he is skilful and very hard at it,’’ Newman added.
Mattingly is a 21-year-old multi talented sportsman who excels at both football and cricket.
From Wagga Wagga, he has spent the past two years playing with VFL side Coburg, mainly as a winger or half-back flanker.
He had a delayed start to the 2017 season with Coburg due to an ankle injury suffered in a practice match against Port Melbourne.
He played out the season and is now keen and injury free to try and make his mark with the Bombers who will be striving to complete a hat-trick of GVL flag wins this season.
Mattingly is renowned for his penetrating right foot kick and elite set of skills.
He stands 181cm and weighs 78kg and modestly believes his main attributes are his running ability and allround skills.
A former member of the highly rated GWS Giants Academy, Mattingly also represented NSW in cricket at Combined High School’s level when he was a vice-captain of the team.
Since moving to Kyabram he is preparing to make his debut for Kyabram Fire Brigade in a one-day game this Saturday.
Brigade skipper Daniel Kent said Mattingly, a middle order batsman, had made a big impression at training with his club and predicted he would be a marquee player in the Goulburn Murray Cricket competition.