STAYING AT THE NEST: Irymple footballers Nick Mee, Tom Brownbridge and Daniel Coghlan have signed contract extensions with the reigning SFNL premiers. Photo: PAUL MENSCH
By MITCH RODD
IRYMPLE have locked away three of their premiership stars from last year for the 2019 Sunraysia Football and Netball League (SFNL) season.
Daniel Coghlan and Nick Mee have signed three year contract extensions, the Swallows securing their services until the end of 2021. Defender Tom Brownbridge meanwhile has signed on until the end of next season.
Mee, who won the John Groves Medal for best on ground in last year’s seven-point premiership win over Ouyen United, said he looked forward to returning to Henshilwood Oval for the next three-and-a-half years.
“It’s awesome to be part of the club for a few more years,” he said.
“It’s a really good culture, not just with the senior footballers but the netballers and juniors as well.
“To see a few of us signing is great because it shows we’re willing to stick around and continue to build on what we’ve done so far.”
Coghlan, who took home the VCFL Medal in the 2017 premiership, came to the SFNL as a big name signing last year after playing for Essendon’s VFL side.
The midfielder has rarely played a bad game in the blue and gold and said he was “very happy” to have his future secured.
“Irymple has been a great club to be part of,” he said.
“I feel like I’m building into the season, but to have everything sorted off-field now will definitely help my own form.”
Brownbridge is in his fifth season with the Swallows, having played 82 games for the club since arriving from Kerang for the 2014 season to join former teammate Will Callow.
The defender said it was important for Irymple to secure key signings.
“While we are mostly focussed on each week, the club is always looking forward to the next season and beyond,” he said.
“To be signing on alongside players like Dan and Nick is fantastic.
“Knowing Will (Callow) as a junior coming through definitely helped make that transition easier, but it’s a great family club to be part of.”
At the halfway mark of the 2018 season, Irymple are in fifth place in what looms to be a tight contest between the SFNL’s top five teams.
The Swallows are 5-3, alongside Robinvale-Euston, but are trailing the Eagles by only 15 percentage points.
In the opening game of the season Irymple lost to Red Cliffs by 31 points and will be out for redemption against the Tigers on their home turf tomorrow. They will be spurred on by Michael Condidorio playing his 200th senior game.
“We’re in a similar position to what we were in last year. I think that shows that you’re never out of it,” Coghlan said.
“It’s not ideal to be in the position we are but if we can follow on from what we did last year, when we were in a similar position, that would be great,” Mee added.
Brownbridge said the side had been complacent at the start of the season, but their one-point loss to ladder leaders Ouyen United three weeks ago was important.
“Even though we lost to Ouyen I think that became a bit of a turning point,” he said.
“We’ve had a slow start but I’m confident we can get better as the season goes on.”