Charles Sturt University will start the new year on a bright note, bringing ‘experienced youngsters’ Brayden Ambler and Louis Miller to the Bushpigs.
Miller, 19, spent a season and a half with Wodonga Bulldogs in the Ovens and Murray League (kicking 20 goals in 12 senior games in 2016). He returned home to Tallangatta League club Mitta United in the middle of last season, finishing the year off off with 26 goals in 10 games, including four best-on-ground efforts.
“I was playing AFL 9s on Monday nights and saw this guy, Louis, turn up. He was real silky so we got onto him,” CSU coach Pat Noonan said of the small forward, who they intend to use through the middle.
“I’m super excited to see what he’s going to be like next year. I think he’ll really shore us up in the midfield.”
Ambler, 20, was part of Temora’s Farrer League grand final campaign last season.
Studying for his builder’s ticket in 2018, he wanted to stay in Wagga and will be one of the Bushpigs’ assistant coaches under Noonan.
“He’s had that experience (premierships) at Collingullie and then Temora last year,” Noonan said. “I’m hoping he can be that ball winner for us, and go forward and kick a few goals.”
Ambler has some mates at CSU and is keen to be a part of their improvement.
“It should be a good challenge,” Ambler said. “I’ve always been at a successful club and I think CSU will be successful this year. It’s going to be different but a good year I think.”
Ambler said he was disappointed to leave Temora after one season but said the decision was purely professional.
“I loved every minute at Temora, it’s an awesome club,” he said. “It’s a shame for me to leave but it’s just work – it’ll be two hours really (of travel) that I’ll be able to get back – so this will work a lot better for me just for this year.”
The signings come on the back of former Sydney Swans reserve grade player Joe Stapleton committing to CSU.
The Bushpigs anticipate more to come as they begin training in mid-January, although many of their students won’t be on deck until a month later.