Friday, 29 January, 2010

The Aspley Hornets have continued their off-season recruiting raid on the Ovens & Murray League, snaring former Adelaide and Richmond AFL draftee Matt Shir from the Wodonga Bulldogs.

Regarded as one of the best to ever to wear the Wodonga jersey, 28-year-old Shir has agreed to terms with the Hornets for the next two seasons.

Originally from Benalla and the Murray Bushrangers, Shir is a quality-plus midfielder who was drafted to the Adelaide Crows with selection No.89 in 1999 – the same draft that saw the club secure Rhett Biglands and Robert Shirley, among others.

He remained at Westlakes until 2002, playing 11 AFL games with the Crows.

After leaving Adelaide, Shir was rookie listed by Richmond for 2003 after being chosen at selection No.19 in the rookie draft but didn’t play at senior level with the Tigers.

He has played the last six years at Wodonga, winning three club B&F awards, tasting premiership side in 2004, when he was judged best afield in the grand final, and being a regular O&M League representative player.

The Border Mail newspaper on Wednesdxay confirmed that Shir will move to Queensland for work reasons and join fellow Ovens and Murray departees Sam Carpenter and Tyson Hartwig, and Lavington youngster Myles Aalbers.

“I’ve agreed to terms with Aspley, an I am looking forward to relocating with Anna and begin my new employment” Shir told his local paper.

A financial adviser, he resigned from his employment and informed Wodonga officials of his departure earlier this week.

Shir said he was sad to say goodbye to John Flower Oval. “It would have been tough as a football decision but it isn’t a football decision, it’s a lifestyle choice that me and my partner have worked through,” Shir said.

“I love going to Cairns every summer so this is a great opportunity to have the beach at my doorstep up at Noosa, the Sunshine Coast or down at the Gold Coast and it’s a great opportunity for work as well.”

Wodonga president Mark Collins admitted Shir’s loss would be felt. “We thought we made Matty a pretty good offer but it was impossible to compete with the employment opportunities on offer in Queensland, and we’re aware of that, we understand that, and we wish him well,” Collins told the Border Mail.


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