St Albans is preparing for life without star signing Daniel Kerr in the Western Region Football League division 1 this season.
The Saints’ big off season recruit has informed the Saints that work commitments will prevent him from joining the club.
Kerr, a silky midfielder who won a premiership and All Australian honours in his time with the West Coast Eagles in the AFL, was the talk of the town when he signed with the Saints in October.
But Kerr has recently changed jobs, meaning he will no longer be in a position to travel east to Melbourne for Saints games.
St Albans player-coach Brad Murphy is disappointed, but has a work-comes-first policy for all of his players.
“When we first signed him, he was working a regular week and then he got made redundant from that job so it changed,” Murphy said.
“He’s been applying for new jobs and he got one, but I believe one of the conditions was that he doesn’t fly to Melbourne every week – so we’re a victim of circumstance I suppose.”
Kerr was enthusiastic about playing with
St Albans when he signed on the dotted line.
The 34-year-old even flew to Melbourne recently and spent a weekend with the Saints, including a catch-up with Murphy to discuss plans for the season.
“I spent two days with him and he seems like a terrific human being,” Murphy said. “He’s changed his ways and he’s a family man now.
“He had a job lined up that was going to be fine with flying down to Melbourne every week to play, but that circumstance changed when he got back to Perth.
“We said to him, when he rang us to tell us, that work takes priority all the time – it’s your livelihood and footy is a game at the end of the day, but he’s shattered that he’s not going to be playing for us.”
From a list management point of view, it will give St Albans a little more wriggle room to sign players within the points and salary cap.
Murphy’s top priority is bringing in more top-shelf midfielders, searching far and wide for them.
Kerr is even helping the Saints in their attempt to lure a big name from WA, possibly through his West Coast Eagles links, with talks ongoing, while Murphy has his eyes on a number of talented locals.
“It’s good that Daniel he hasn’t just ditched us, he’s given us a number of contacts and he’s trying to help us replace him basically,” Murphy said.
“On field, Daniel was going to be a really good player, but we’ll be able to replace him.
“Even taking out Daniel, our list is still really strong – we’re in a really good space.”