By Trevor Jackson
FOOTBALL may be done and dusted for season 2020, but there has been plenty of movement off the field in the Western Border Football League.
Millicent is one such club, with the recent announcement coach Clint Gallio will be on board for the next two years.
The club also announced the signing of Gene Robinson for season 2021, with the small forward sure to be a real asset to the Saints’ chances to rebound after a disastrous 2019.
In 2018 Millicent claimed the premiership flag for the first time in 34 years, but after losing much of the group, finished bottom the following season without tasting victory.
Of course 2020 was called off due to the covid-19 pandemic, but according to Gallio that was itself a blessing in disguise for the Saints.
It provided extra time for his injured knee to mend and strengthen, while also allowing other players – who would have been doubtful starters – the time to mend.
Gallio said he was excited to be back for another two years, along with the inclusion of Robinson.
“I have a bit of a plan and we will see where that takes us,” he said.
“We have Gene on board and I think everyone was looking forward to him playing this year, which didn’t eventuate.
“He went down and had a kick with Broughton Mundoora where he played last year and they ended up winning the flag again – they went back-to-back.
“He is just one of those blokes who loves a kick, loves playing footy.”
While Robinson has only signed for one season at this stage, Gallio said he was keen to play with the dynamic forward, who had displayed a real talent in front of the big sticks.
“He has kicked a lot of gaols,” Gallio said.
“He is only 27 and has kicked 800 or 900 goals.
“He has kicked 100s before in the KNT so I am really looking forward to him playing.”
Apart from the obvious advantage of scoring, Gallio said Robinson brought a wealth of experience which would help on the training track.
“He has played some SANFL footy, is good around the guys, good at training, has a good work ethic and really wants to improve every time,” Gallio said.
“He is the type of bloke who will be real handy for us (on the ground) and to hopefully help me out to mentor some juniors.”
The 2019 season was certainly cruel to the Saints but with 12 players gone from the previous year’s premiership side Gallio said any team would struggle to compete.
He said considering the circumstances 2019 coach Lyndon Smith kept the players positive.
After no games in 2020 it was now time to work on the upcoming season and strive to again return to the winner’s list.
“We are working through our list and have maintained most of it,” Gallio said.
“Everyone is keen to get back into some training and I think the general feel around the club is quite upbeat.”
Training is set to kick off in November, with a push up at Christmas, before a return in January.