Plenty of questions are surrounding Navarre’s premiership contender status for 2018 after losing two senior players.
Premiership player Josh Driscoll and former Berry Powell medalist and reigning Navarre club best and fairest Josh Fowkes will be leaving the Grasshoppers for Ballarat Football League club Lake Wendouree.
Driscoll, who is a 100-plus game veteran at Navarre, moves to the Lakers in a dual role.
The personal trainer has been appointed the fitness co-ordinator.
The loss of Fowkes will make the biggest impact, with the 21-year-old dominating for Navarre in their run of four-consecutive premierships.
Fowkes has not only caught the eye of Lake Wendouree.
Geelong issued an invitation to Fowkes to be part of its VFL summer training squad.
Lake Wendouree coach Dale Power said it was a big call for players to leave clubs where they had spent all their junior and senior football careers.
“There’s an opportunity there and they’re keen to take it.”
Power said the multiple MCDFL inter-league representative Fowkes would have the ability to fill a key position or ruck role for the Lakers, having kicked 29 goals for Navarre in 2017.
Fowkes said it will be “extremely tough” to make the move from Navarre.
“When you have played there your whole life it becomes a pretty special place,” he said.
“I didn’t really want to have to do it but it was something I think I needed to do at some point.
“It will be a bit more of a challenge playing at that higher level of footy which I am looking forward to.”
Navarre suffered major player losses towards the end of 2017, with Ben Martin returning to Swifts and leading goal kicker Cody Driscoll taking on a new challenge in the Wimmera league with the Warriors.
The Grasshoppers will be out to make amends for their 2017 grand final loss to Carisbrook, their first grand final defeat since 2012.