Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong has landed the signature of another Central West star.
Orange Tigers premiership player Michael Rothnie has decided to join former teammate Josh Bubnich at the Lions next season.
Rothnie has won four Central West AFL premierships over the last six seasons and joins GGGM looking to challenge himself at a higher level.
The 24-year-old starred for the Tigers in their come-from-behind premiership win last month and will provide the Lions with another midfield option.
GGGM coach Christin Macri is pleased to welcome Rothnie to the club.
“He’s another inside mid and tough ball getter,” Macri said.
“He will be good for guys on the outside and young guys that need that support. So he will come in and compliment that.”
Rothnie has already played 100 games at Orange and was in the club’s leadership group. He spent the 2017 season with AFL Canberra club Gungahlin.
Rothnie, whose younger brother Chris spent a season at North Wagga, is looking forward to testing himself in the Riverina League.
“I came back to Orange to win a flag and I’ve done that, it’s time for me to move on,” Rothnie told the Central Western Daily.
“The Riverina League is a bit stronger so it’ll be a good chance to test myself.”
The Lions got onto Rothnie through his links with Bubnich.
Bubnich was one of the recruits of the season this year after joining GGGM from Orange.
He finished third in the Lions’ best and fairest despite only playing 11 of the 16 home and away games and was their best player in two of their finals appearances.
GGGM tried to get Rothnie to come with Bubnich this season so were happy to get their man 12 months later.
“We got close to him last year,” Macri said.
“We tried to get them both travelling but just with his work, it wasn’t going to happen. He’s been able to get weekends free now, which has allowed it to happen, so it’s something we’ve been working on for a good 12 months.”
It gets the Lions’ off-season off to a good start after proving to be the competition surprise packet this year.
Christin Macri, in his first season back at the club, led the Lions to a preliminary final appearance after only winning two games in 2017.
He is not content with that however and is happy to get an early recruit on board for 2019.
“We’ve been working overtime to try to recruit and bring guys in,” Macri said.
“We’ve still got work to do...but it’s always good to get an early signing.”
Bubnich is one of a host of GGGM players to already re-sign for the Lions next season.