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    STANDOUT: Horsham District Football Netball League chairman Fred Mellington presents league leading goal-kicker Jack Musgrove, Rupanyup, with his award for the 2021 season. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Jack Musgrove crowned HDFNL season’s leading goal-kicker

The entire September 15, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

Horsham District Football Netball League’s senior leading goal-kicker for 2021 is still hopeful some form of finals series will go ahead.

Rupanyup coach Jack Musgrove kicked 55 goals at an average of 4.58 a game in this year’s shortened 12-round home-and-away season, to win the accolade.

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But the Panthers star has his eyes on a bigger prize, a senior premiership.

Rupanyup’s senior side enjoyed its best season for some time in 2021, dropping only two games for the year to finish second on the ladder.

The Panthers were due to have a week off in round one of finals before meeting undefeated minor premier Noradjuha-Quantong in a second semi-final the following week.

The league is at a standstill, however, following the latest COVID-19 lockdown, with leaders awaiting further direction from the State Government and AFL Victoria.

Although clubs can resume training, there is still no word as to if or when regional clubs can resume outdoor sporting competitions. 

League officials are still hoping to push forward with a finals series, most likely as a top-four competition over two weeks. 

Musgrove said he was also hoping the league would be able to present some form of finals football.

“It’s been a big effort there over the past couple of years, trying to get up to that position we’re in now,” he said.

“To miss finals would be pretty devastating but hopefully we can get a few finals games in there.”

COVID-19 restrictions have also affected this year’s league best-and-fairest counts and presentation nights.

The league last week announced its 2021 award winners online, with senior footballer and A Grade netballer vote counts occurring simultaneously via radio on 1089 3WM.

Officials have been presenting awards to recipients throughout the week, with league chairman Fred Mellington congratulating Musgrove in person.

On accepting his award, Musgrove joked he ‘probably kicked more points than goals’, but had enjoyed his best goal-kicking year for some time.

“I’ve had a few injured seasons – I barely got any kicks for a few years but I’ve been injury-free this year, which has been good. It’s been a bit of a change,” he said.

“I’ve been playing a lot down back but I snuck up forward there for a bit this year and kicked a few goals.

“Obviously it’s a bit easier to do so in a good side. We’ve had a few recruits come in. You’re only as good as the people around you and I had good delivery.”

Musgrove said he loved being part of the Rupanyup club after spending the past five years in Panthers colours.

“They’re great people and it’s a great environment. That’s really what’s made me stick around,” he said.
While he said he was hoping to return in 2022, he needed to get through this year first. 

“At the moment I’m just trying to keep that motivation to play and keep fit, when you just don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said. 

– Sarah Matthews