For the first time since he was four years old, Campbell Lovell won’t be playing his footy at Robertson Oval next year.
The classy Wagga Tigers defender is moving to Wollongong and will take the opportunity to test himself in the Canberra competition, signing with Queanbeyan.
“I just thought it’d be a bit easier travelling with a mate from Wollongong (to Canberra) than travelling alone for fours hours on the road to play and four hours back by myself,” Lovell said.
“It was hard to leave Tigers, don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t an easy decision. I’ve played there since I was four years old and I’m 22.
“After 18 years at the club, it’s pretty hard to say, ‘Seeya boys’. But I just thought it’d be a bit of a change.”
Lovell is a premiership player with Tigers and a club best-and-fairest winner. He also represented Riverina in the big win over the Farrer League this year and the loss to Canberra’s rep side a year earlier.
“They were a lot fitter and stronger so it’ll be good, a good challenge,” he said.
“Some people reckon it’s not as strong (a competition) as the RFL. I’ve heard both ways so, I don’t know.
“But I’m looking forward to it. I’ve heard it’s more open and quicker, which is probably going to suit me, in my eyes, because that’s how I want to play. I’m more an outside runner. I'm not a 100-kilo midfielder!”
Former Griffith coach Adrian Pavese is in charge at Queanbeyan and Toby Conroy, from Leeton, is assistant. In fact, Lovell said there are a handful of former Crows at the club who he played against when Tigers won the premiership in 2016.
He’s also looking forward to linking up with former North Wagga star Lachie Highfield at Queanbeyan.
Lovell said he hasn’t had much in-depth discussion about his role but is likely to be given an opportunity in the midfield. Queanbeyan finished third on the ladder last season but went out in the first week of finals.