SCOTTISH striker Rory Currie arrived in Melbourne last week to bolster Mornington’s 2023 promotion push.
The Seagulls have had the 24-year-old on their radar since last year and agreed terms with him months ago but have been keeping the move under wraps.
Currie has been involved with both Celtic and Rangers as a youth and made 10 appearances for Hearts over a four-year period that included loan spells at East Fife, Forfar Athletic and Linfield.
He signed with Brechin in 2020 and in November 2021 joined Tranent Juniors currently third in the Lowland League.
Despite only being here for a few days he turned out for the Seagulls in last weekend’s annual Steve Wallace Cup and his touch and finishing were there for all to see.
He had to confront vastly different playing conditions to the ones he left thousands of kilometres behind but he handled the change well.
“The weather obviously is a lot different and the pitches are a lot more drier and firm,” he said.
“I may have to adjust and maybe come a bit shorter and focus more on my first touch as its more bobbly over here.”
Currie knows what he’s here to do and he knows what the rewards are.
“The lifestyle is the big attraction for me and I know that I’m at an ambitious club that brought me over to try and score goals and hopefully get promoted.
“It’s clear that Mornington is looking to go up the way.”
Despite scoring in Saturday’s cup final Currie couldn’t stop Langwarrin winning the trophy for the third time.
Both Langy goals came from another Scottish newcomer, Archie McPhee.
Good work from James Kelly on the left led to McPhee’s first goal and the sealer came from the penalty spot after Tom Youngs was felled inside the area.
Newcomers contesting the Wallace Cup who caught the eye included Brazilian Matheus Assumpcao for Frankston Pines and South African striker Leo McLeod for Skye United.
Assumpcao, 27, was a teammate of Pines’ keeper Tom Hull at Brunos Magpies in the Gibraltar Premier League.
He has attracted offers from well-resourced clubs here and although Pines arranged his international transfer certificate, work and accommodation they acknowledge a problem in holding on to him.
It’s believed that both Pascoe Vale and Brunswick are keeping tabs on Assumpcao and Bentleigh Greens were rumoured to be interested in setting up a “loan” situation.
McLeod played for Cape Town club Vasco Da Gama in the SAFA Regional Third Division and seems certain to have a big hand in Skye’s attacking fortunes this year.
Skye could lose the services of Marcus Collier and Daniel Attard for eight weeks during the season as they are contemplating heading overseas to attend Frank Dimu’s wedding.
In NPL2 news Langwarrin’s rumoured attempt to manoeuvre Josh Hine into its senior squad via a stint with Doveton remains just that – a rumour.
Hine hopes to soon be granted permanent residency and given that Langy’s three visa spots are filled the talk is that the Doves would sign Hine who would be paid by a third party and when his PR came through he’d join Langy in the next available transfer window.
The idea met with a blunt response from Doveton president Danny McMinimee.
“We won’t be signing a centre-forward to go back to anyone else,” he said.
“They can either sign for us or they can stay where they are.”
In State 5 news Seaford United played its first pre-season practice match against Boronia last weekend at North Seaford Reserve.
The visitors won 4-2 with a brace from former Pines, Langwarrin and Strikers midfielder Grant Lane while Blake Hicks and Callum Mitchell scored for Seaford.
Hayden Hicks played in goal for the local side.
Seaford also completed its first new signing in former Peninsula Strikers forward Josh Vega who joined from Glen Waverley.
“Josh and I know each other from years ago at Peninsula Strikers,” Seaford head coach Paul Williams said.
“Josh is renowned for his clinical touch in front of goal and has won golden boots everywhere he’s been. “He’s already shown his leadership around the squad and is a very welcome addition to the Seaford United family.”
Here is Seaford’s pre-season schedule:
Tuesday 31 January: v Brandon Park reserves, North Seaford Reserve, 7pm (seniors only); Saturday 4 February: v Officer, North Seaford Reserve, 3pm (seniors only); Saturday 25 February: v Melbourne University, 1pm & 3pm; Saturday 4 March: v Somerville Eagles, North Seaford Reserve, 1pm & 3pm; Saturday 11 March: v Spring Hills, Springside Recreational Reserve, 1pm & 3pm.
Meanwhile Clyde North-based Southern United has sparked uproar in local circles by announcing its intention to field a team in State League while continuing its NPLW program.
A number of clubs on the peninsula are trying to establish their women’s programs and believe that Southern will hinder their ability to attract players.
Skye United vice-president Stuart Lawrence has contacted local clubs alerting them to Southern’s intentions and urging them to let Football Victoria know how they feel.
“I have no problem with the NPLW but in my view Southern should stay in their league and we should let promotion and relegation decide where clubs play,” Lawrence said.
“Community clubs should be allowed to develop players and if they are good enough and want to move on to that elite level then all well and good.
“If Southern are allowed to do what they plan to do they could ruin that because it makes it even more difficult for us to attract players.
“We all want the women’s game to grow but we have to be smarter about this.”
Ironically Southern, which was formed in late 2015, owes its existence to a consortium of local clubs comprising Langwarrin, Casey Comets, Mornington, Peninsula Strikers Juniors and Seaford United.