In a huge blow for the Barossa, Light and Gawler Football Association and, more specifically, the Gawler Central Football Club, the competition’s reigning Schluter Medalist Charlie Molyneux, 25, will not play this season.
He is moving to Melbourne with his partner Carly McArthur, who recently qualified as a midwife and has secured a position in Murphy Hospital.
Typical of the calibre of the man, Molynuex is supporting is partner in her professional endeavours.
“It definitely was a family decision,” Molyneux told Barossa Herald.
“I’m just starting to put feelers out now from a footy perspective.
“Carly starts work on March 26, so basically we need have the house rented, packed up and in Melbourne by then.
“It all happened so quickly.”
Molyneux, one of the most gifted midfielders over the 30 years of this competition, noted for his elite stoppage work, won the 2017 Schluter Medal (A Grade best and fairest) despite missing two months of the season.
He was injured in the June 17 game against Barossa District and returned in the round 16, August 19, match where Gawler Central played Freeling.
Molyneux still polled 21 votes in 10 games, to win from Freeling’s Josh Hand and Willaston’s Tyson Irlam, who both garnered 18 votes.
Gawler Central senior coach Matt Whelan said things had developed quickly in a week and the club was informed on Tuesday, February 21, that Molyneux and his partner were making the big move to Melbourne.
“Whilst from a coaching perspective it is shattering to lose a player the calibre of Charlie, as a club we support his decision 100 per cent,” Whelan said.
“We all know this guy’s on-field feats; and yes, Charlie does leave a massive hole for us from a team point of view.
“As good a player as he is, he is the most humble, giving and resilient person.
“He is a great lad and a member of a terrific family.
“Whilst we’ve taken a hit and have lost some very good experience, we’ll stay true to our development pathway.
“We are striving to add great characters to our squad as we build towards sustainable success.
“Currently we are actively looking for a ruckman and key forward to compliment a very talented young squad and if there are players that fit that characteristic they should consider looking our way.”
Molyneux, who played a couple of SANFL league games with Central District and a handful more games with the Adelaide Crows in that competition, came to Gawler Central as a junior from the Yorke Peninsula.
He has been the only BLG Under 17s footballer to win the Senior Colts Footballer of the Year twice (2008 and 2009).
He was runner up to the Rookie of the Year award in 2010 only due to injury.
In 2014, Molyneux played a key role in the Gawler Central BLG A grade premiership and to add to his list of accolades, he became only the second player to win the Schluter Medal/Coaches Player of the Year double last season.