OVENS and Murray League club Lavington are trying to lure contracted Coolamon spearhead Tim Oosterhoff out of Kindra Park for next season.
The Hoppers' best and fairest winner has been training at Lavington for the past few weeks and has informed Coolamon of his desire to be at the Panthers next season.
Oosterhoff starred in his first season in the Riverina League, living up to the hype surrounding his signing with 58 goals from 17 games. He also shined in the ruck, where many believe he is best suited.
Oosterhoff was the first Coolamon player to re-sign for 2024 back in July and spoke to The Daily Advertiser as recently as October, talking about his hopes for the Hoppers next season.
Lavington coach Adam Schneider and football manager Graham Hart did not return The Daily Advertiser's calls this week, nor did Oosterhoff.
But Lavington posted a video of pre-season training on Instagram last week with Oosterhoff filmed taking part.
Coolamon coach Gavin McMahon confirmed the club were aware that Oosterhoff is training at Lavington.
"Yes I am," McMahon said.
"Lavington called us to tell us he was training there."
The Daily Advertiser understands that Lavington has contacted Coolamon in regards to releasing Oosterhoff out of his contract for 2024.
It is believed Coolamon have stood firm on their position that he is a required player at the club.
The Hoppers are believed to be fuming after going above and beyond for their prized recruit since his arrival from AFL Hunter Central Coast earlier this year.
Quizzed as to whether he expects him to be part of his Coolamon line-up next year, McMahon has left the door open for the man affectionately known as 'The Rooster'.
"I'm interested in having blokes at the footy club who are team-first players in 2024 and if that happens to be Rooster, that would be fantastic," McMahon said.
A tight-lipped McMahon did however express his disappointment in Lavington's approach of a contracted player.
"Absolutely. For a community football club to not respect the contract process is pretty disappointing," he said.
Oosterhoff is understood to have relocated to the border recently and has also secured employment in Albury-Wodonga.
His departure would be a cruel blow to the club, who have already lost in excess of 15 players from this season.
It has been a tough initiation for the experienced McMahon, who was appointed to take over from the departed Jake Barrett in September.