Rovers sign Clinton Young ahead of 2023 season

Former AFL premiership player Clinton Young has joined the Hampton Rovers Football Club ahead of the 2023 VAFA season.

The former AFL midfielder/forward played 116 games for Hawthorn from 2005 to 2012 and a further 21 games for Collingwood up until 2015. He kicked 69 goals in his 137-game career.

More recently, he has played and coached at Gisborne in the Bendigo Football League, however after moving into the area, he’ll now suit up in the green & gold at Boss James Reserve this season.

Rovers senior coach Anthony Quon explained to the Herald Sun how the significant signing came about through playing together in the second XI at the Hampton Cricket Club.

“He came down and started having a hit. He has got a young family and he said ‘Oh look, I’m pretty keen to get involved in a community club so we’re local and I don’t have to travel too far for training or anything like that.‘

“So it was a very informal chat on the cricket field and then we had an official chat on Monday to see how serious he wanted to be about this.”

Young had several offers to go to other clubs but he preferred his nearby option to play at the Rovers as it would give him flexibility with a young family and work commitments at the Hawthorn Football Club where he is a corporate sales executive.

Quon said he was looking forward to having Young on board at the Rovers for 2023.

“It is really exciting,” he said.

“For our guys to have someone of that quality as a person and obviously his football background is very good.”

Chatting with Rovers Media on Thursday, Young spoke of his excitement in joining the Rovers.

“I moved to the area recently and wasn’t sure if I’d definitely be playing football, but after meeting Quonny through the cricket club, I was excited to join.

“I’m not the running player I once was, but definitely feel I can share some of my experience with the young playing group, whether that’s training, review of games and obviously chatting with Quonny about coaching.

“Hopefully I can contribute on the field, but I’m probably more excited about just being around the club and helping out the young players.”

The Rovers have also secured former North Melbourne footballer Will Walker who will be at the club full time this season after four years in the AFL system and a year in the VFL.

The 22-year-old, who played six AFL matches, was set to play a few games for the Rovers last year outside his VFL commitments before injury cut his season short.

Austin Parker also returns to the Rovers where he won an U17 premiership in 2019. Parker comes from Old Mentonians where he played 20 senior games last season and previously won an U19 best and fairest.

The 2023 season gets underway on Saturday 15th April with an away trip to Marcellin, before hosting Ormond in round two at Boss James Reserve, while pre-season training gets back underway on January 30.

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