Former Bacchus Marsh premiership player Jarrah Maksymow has signed with Sunbury Lions, with the Lions confident their culture can help rehabilitate the troubled star.
Maksymow, who won a premiership with Bacchus Marsh in 2016, created headlines last year after fleeing police at half-time of a semi-final in the Hume Football League.
Sunbury president Henley Duhau said Lions coach Travis Hodgson had stayed in touch with Maksymow and believed the club could help him and his family.
“Travis coached Jarrah at Bacchus Marsh, and he sees him as a mentor and a bit of a father figure,” Duhau said.
“So when Jarrah wanted to play football again, Travis approached the committee and we decided we wanted to sign him.
“What we’ve done is backed our club culture to support him, and we think it’s the right club for him in terms of our standards and support systems that we have in place.
“I’ve worked in mental health for 15 years, and I know that people do need support and hope for them to move forwards.”
Maksymow played in the Lions reserves on Saturday.
Duhau said the early signs were that it had been a smooth transition for Maksymow into the club.
“Jarrah’s comments to me before the game were that he couldn’t believe how inclusive the club had been in a short time,” Duhau said. “We’ve welcomed his family, and the club has been great at accepting all of them and making them a part of the club in a short space of time.”
On the field, Sunbury grabbed a solid win over struggling Ballarat, pulling away to record a 16.8 (104) to 9.6 (60) win.
Jack Landt bagged six goals in the win, which was notable for the Lions fielding three debutants and five under-19 players take the field in the seniors.