Leeton-Whitton premiership hero Neil Irwin will return to the region next season after signing with Hume League club Lockhart.
Irwin was one of the stories of Leeton-Whitton’s drought-breaking premiership in 2017 after being flown in on a private jet to make the game after the birth of his daughter the day before.
He shelved retirement plans to play with Queanbeyan last season and will now link with Lockhart this year.
Lockhart coach Nathan McPherson is excited to have Irwin on board.
“Obviously we’ve lost Zac (Sheather) and were chasing a few players. Neil’s name came up and he was pretty happy to have a chat to us,” McPherson said.
“He was good. He was pretty keen, he liked playing bush footy and he reckons it’s the best he’s felt in a while. He looks fit, even fitter than when he was at Leeton.”
Irwin, 37, played in a number of different positions for Leeton-Whitton but will shoulder the ruck duties at Lockhart.
“He said he’s happy to play in the ruck all day, that’s how good he’s feeling,” McPherson said.
“He’ll play in the ruck. We’ve got a pretty small team at the moment so he’ll be good.”
McPherson has returned to the Lockhart coaching role in a non-playing capacity.
The Demons have lost co-coach Jordan Harrington to North Adelaide, along with key duo Zac Sheather and Jamie Clough to Gungahlin Jets.
But they have welcomed back former best and fairest winner Jesse Margosis, along with Alex Smith and Paddy Maher. They have also welcomed a number of former juniors back on board as they look to improve on last year’s 11th place finish.