Mooroopna has been dealt a blow ahead of the Goulburn Valley Football League season, with 2013 best-and-fairest Mitch Keddell backflipping on his decision to return to his former club.
Keddell had agreed to play under coach Dale Osborne, but has changed his mind due to work commitments.
The midfielder was expected to join the Cats from Eastern Football League club Balwyn, but Osborne understood work should always come first.
‘‘He is an A-grade player and we were super excited for him to come on board,’’ Osborne said.
‘‘He is an engineer and needs to travel to Sydney for work and he did not think he could make the commitment, so we can understand where he is coming from.’’
Keddell was also Shepparton Swans’ best-and-fairest runner-up in 2009.
He would have added much-needed experience to a developing Mooroopna side after VFL stints with Port Melbourne, Richmond and Williamstown, as well as time with WAFL club Peel Thunder.
‘‘He has been around some top leagues, so he would have been a great asset for us,’’ Osborne said.
‘‘It is not meant to be, sometimes you have to put work ahead of football.’’
When one door closes another opens and Osborne believed one of his players would be able to step up to fill the void.
‘‘It has now given someone else an opportunity, if Keddell had stayed we probably would not have been able to get Clint Riley in from Burnie,’’ Osborne said.
‘‘We probably ended up doing better with Clint in the end.’’
Mooroopna will begin its season at home against Benalla on April 15.