BFL: Dual recruiting coup for Lakers

North Ballarat premiership player Paul McMahon is returning to Lake Wendouree next year. Picture: Andrew KellyTWO-time North Ballarat premiership player Paul McMahon is returning to Lake Wendouree in the Ballarat Football League next season.In a dual recruiting coup, McMahon will join Lexton Plains league reigning best and fairest Jason Hill at the Lakers.McMahon will cover the loss centre half forward Tim Madden, while Hill is a major inclusion for the Associated Plasters Lakers’ onball brigade. McMahon played all of his football with the Lakers before to joining the Selkirk Roosters in 2008.The 24-year-old said it was a tough decision to leave the back-to-back Victorian Football League premier, but an intention to travel overseas next year and other interests outside of football had led to the move.”I am planning on coming back (from overseas) right on finals next year,” McMahon said.”It would have been to hard to break back into the side at North,” he said.McMahon said he also needed more time to do things away from footy.”I’ll still give it 100 per cent, but it’s just your couple of nights a week instead of five.”The commitment level is not as high.”McMahon said he might look at a return to VFL in the future.McMahon’s exit means the Roosters have not lost four of this year’s premiership players from their VFL list joining Michael Searl (overseas), Tom Roach (Swan Districts, WAFL), Jacob Spolding (Newtown-Chilwell). Tristan Cartledge (Strathmore) and Dean Chester (Redan), who were emergencies, have also left.Hill played with the Lakers in 2003 and believes he still has plenty to offer in the higher standard of the BFL.”Over my journey I’ve done a few things with my football, but there is one box that isn’t ticked and that’s a BFL premiership,” Hill said.”It’s really exciting. Instead of having five or six around that are at the same level, you have probably got 17 or 18 that are at a very similar level.”It doesn’t drop away.”Hill, 31, played more than 130 games with Central Highlands FL club Clunes, winning a premiership in 1997 and a CHFL best and fairest in 2004. He then joined Carngham-Linton as an assistant coach in 2007, playing in the premiership that year before joining Wilston-Grange in the QAFL the following season. He returned to the Saints as a joint-coach with Jade Keam last season, where he helped the club to the grand final.
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