SAMMY Orritt has been released by Langwarrin to free up a visa spot for Scottish striker Archie McPhee.
And the Lawton Park club has also agreed terms with goalkeeper James Burgess from Northcote City and defender Charlie Fry from Kingston City.
While the decision to release Orritt may surprise some after his consistent displays last season it didn’t surprise the talented Englishman.
“I don’t think it’s a secret they need to score more goals and they wanted to use the visa on a number nine which is fair enough.
“There’s no hard feelings. You’re not going to keep a right back if you need a visa spot.”
Langwarrin’s other visa spots are held by captain Rogan McGeorge and Tommy Youngs.
Orritt is on the threshold of being granted permanent residency and Langy has left the door open for his return should his immigration status change.
Winning McPhee’s signature has been huge given the interest the striker created after his first season in Australia.
The 29-year-old former Forfar, Ross County and Elgin City player was joint leading scorer in NPL3 last season having been brought to Melbourne by Nunawading City.
He scored 14 goals in 20 appearances tying for the league top scorer honours with Connor Bell of Preston Lions and Langwarrin had to fend off interest from other clubs.
“I spoke to Greg (Kilner, main sponsor) first of all then I spoke to Scott Miller the gaffer who came across really well and sold the club to me,” McPhee said.
“I also spoke to a couple of players who had played for Langwarrin and they spoke highly of the club so it was an easy decision to make.
“I’ve looked at the (match) highlights and the squad of players and as a collective there’s no reason why we can’t challenge for promotion – that’s the aim anyway.”
Goalkeeper Burgess, 22, returns to Lawton Park after signing with Langy from Springvale White Eagles in 2020 before joining South Melbourne then Northcote while Fry, 24, lists Eastern Lions and Bentleigh Greens on his CV.
He switched from Eastern Lions to Kingston in July.
Langy has moved quickly to re-sign most of last season’s squad with Jaiden Madafferi, Simon Storey, Jeremy Min Fa, Lucas Portelli, Cal Goulding, McGeorge, Marcus Di Meo, Jacob Brito, Youngs, Kieran Dover, James Kelly, Mawien Nielo, Lenny Gregory and Brad Chick all agreeing terms.
Teenage keeper Nathan Lynders is believed to be on Bentleigh Greens’ radar as Greens under-21s coach Craig Smart rates the youngster highly.
Langy remains active on the transfer front so expect more arrivals.
It’s believed that one of its targets is an attacking midfielder from an NPL2 rival.
The big news in State 2 is the signing of 23-year-old Hayley Richmond as the inaugural player-coach of Frankston Pines’ new senior women’s team.
Clinching Richmond’s signature is a massive coup for the Monterey Reserve outfit.
The 23-year-old represented Victoria as a junior and is a former Young Matilda having played for the national youth team in Myanmar and China.
Her club career is equally impressive involving stints at Box Hill, Melbourne City, Bulleen, South Melbourne and Casey Comets.
Pines has applied for a Women’s State League position and is confident of being accepted.
So the young woman who a few years ago played for her country and looked to have a professional career within her grasp now finds herself tasked with developing a women’s program at a community club.
“When other things became more important in my life I went back to the basics and started enjoying football again rather than it being so stressful and I enjoy teaching others as well,” Richmond said.
University and her relationship with Pines left back Christian Malgioglio played major roles in her decision.
She has a degree in physical education and sport science and will marry Malgioglio in December.
Richmond already has a number of signing targets and will hold her first training session on Thursday 24 November.
Her father Damian is assistant coach.
News of Richmond’s appointment follows hot on the heels of a number of key re-signings in Pines’ men’s program making a mockery of rumours of a pending player exodus.
Dylan Waugh, Cal Batey, Jordan “Caka” Avraham, Joey O’Connor, Malgioglio, Marinos Panayi, Keegan Grealy, Alex Bevacqua, Kevin Brown and Logan Johnston all have committed to Pines for next season and head coach Trevor Johnston will meet with striker Aaran Currie this week aiming to re-sign him.
Meanwhile Pines’ State 2 rival Skye United will have a planning meeting this week where head coach Phil McGuinness hopes to identify specific signing targets.
McGuinness also is zeroing in on his squad’s pre-season preparation.
“We had more than our fair share of injuries this year so one major part for us is getting the players ready for a full season,” McGuinness said.
“We had one of the best defences in the league but we never started the same team two weeks in a row so we need to get that right.”
In State 4 news midfielder Dylan Scott has rejoined the senior squad at Chelsea.
The former Mornington player had to return to England last season for visa reasons but Chelsea gaffer Carlo Melino is pleased that he’s back.
“He’s the cousin of our vice-captain Connor Scott and when he was with us in 2019 he only played half a season but almost won our player of the year,” Melino said.
“He can play as a central defender but I’ve used him in midfield so I have a few options with him.”
In other news Football Victoria released the results of the best and fairest and top goalscorer awards in State Leagues last week.
The only local winner was Aspendale’s Lily Smith who dominated Women’s State 4 South winning the league best and fairest by nine votes from teammate Bonnie Carmichael and also winning the league’s top scorer honours with 36 goals, eight more than Baxter’s Sarah Hutcherson.