SAMMY Orritt has rejoined Mornington after playing in the NPL with Langwarrin and Eastern Lions.
The 30-year-old dynamo agreed terms last week and could be joined by more new signings shortly.
Orritt’s football odyssey started in California at the age of three after business reasons prompted his family to move to the US from Doncaster in England.
He is the best-travelled footballer on the peninsula having paraded his skills on pitches in England, Scotland, the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
His first stint at Dallas Brooks Park started during the 2017 season when he arrived from NZ outfit Coastal United and he’s relishing the prospect of another spell with the Seagulls.
“I’m really looking forward to playing with a few of the boys again,” he said.
“Nothing against Eastern Lions because I enjoyed my time there but I’m over the politics of the NPL plus I’m living in Langwarrin now so they were big factors in my decision.”
Orritt expects to return to his original Mornington role as a winger rather than the attacking full-back he had become during his NPL stint.
“I’m expecting to play further forward than I have been and that suits me,” he said.
“I can play full-back if I have to but I enjoy playing up the park and hopefully I can contribute a few goals and assists.”
If he does then Mornington might shake the monkey from its back having fallen at the final hurdle in its quest to win promotion to the NPL.
Last season the club finished third and in 2022 it was fourth.
It was on top when the pandemic brought an untimely end to the 2021 season so there was no promotion that year.
“I don’t know why this keeps happening – maybe it’s in the back of the players’ minds but really there’s only one option for Mornington.
“We’re not going out there to finish in the top four again and I’m going there to get promoted.
“From what I’ve heard they’ve kept most of the boys from last season and they’re good players and they play good football.
“I think they’ve been a bit unlucky not to get promoted but there’s only one way to fix that.
“I’m looking forward to it.”
Mornington also signed Kyle Johnson last week.
He’s 23 and usually plays as a central midfielder but can also play across the back and that versatility could prove crucial to the Seagulls’ fortunes next season.
Johnson is a product of Central Coast Mariners’ youth system having played for the club in the national youth league and in the NSW NPL.
Mornington was alerted to the possibility of signing Johnston by first choice keeper Kane Runge.
Seagulls’ gaffer Adam Jamieson won’t stop there in his quest to put together a senior squad capable of winning an NPL spot.
He’s speaking to other prospective players and the club expects to announce another major signing in the next few days.
“We’ve also re-signed a number of players from last season,” Jamieson said.
It’s believed that Mornington has already agreed terms with Kane Runge, Josh Heaton, Luke Burgess, Sam Scott, Liam Quinn, Brady Pollard, Shaun Kenny, David Stirton and Rory Currie.
Ziggy Razuki is spending most of next year overseas.
“He’s a massive loss for us as he’s been brilliant,” Jamieson added.
Mornington also has signed-up most of its off-field support staff for the coming season.
Jamieson plans to have two assistants including current assistant Craig Lewis.
Peter Blasby remains as goalkeeping coach, David Waring continues as team manager, Kevin McAlister will conduct the strength and conditioning program, Craig Davidson will again coach the reserves and Michael Anderson is set to coach the under-18s which will be integrated with the reserves program.
At this stage Mornington expects the extensive redevelopment of Dallas Brooks Park to start next April and the club is speaking to other clubs to arrange a temporary base for home games next season.
It’s believed that Peninsula Strikers is one of those clubs.
Meanwhile Frankston Pines, Chelsea and Somerville Eagles are yet to appoint a head coach for next season.
While Donn Delaney remains favourite to win the Pines’ job one of the club’s favourite sons has thrown his hat into the ring at the last minute.
Twelve candidates have applied for the Chelsea job including “three very well-known names” according to president Carlo Bellino.
The Edithvale-based club formed a shortlist and started interviewing applicants on that list last week.
It’s understood that Chelsea will name the successful candidate shortly.
In other news Football Victoria has announced that it will rebrand two of its three NPL leagues by changing their names.
NPL2 is now Victorian Premier League 1 and NPL3 is Victorian Premier League 2.
FV also released the men’s and women’s State League best and fairest voting and top scorer honours.
Young Rosebud striker Noah Musso completed a stellar season by winning the league best and fairest with a five-vote margin over runner-up Marcus Spivey from Mentone.
There are four State 5 leagues broken up into regional divisions – North, West, South and East – and Musso’s 26 votes were the highest across all four divisions.
He also was the league’s top scorer with 21 goals.
In State 1 South-East Mornington’s Razuki finished runner-up on 23 votes one behind Thomas Simos of South Springvale and in State 2 South-East Riley Anderton of Peninsula Strikers finished runner-up on 20 votes to Knox City star Daniel Aye.
Mornington’s Currie and Gippsland United’s Rory Wagner shared State 1 top scorer honours with 17 goals each.
Seaford United star Kallista Tzelios was a runaway winner of the women’s State 4 South best and fairest award with 35 votes, 14 clear of the runner-up.
In women’s State 3 South Erin Riordan of Aspendale was runner-up in the best and fairest award with 25 votes but claimed top scorer honours with 21 goals.
In women’s State 5 South-East Chelsea’s Catherine Ramirez won the best and fairest award with 30 votes.