Home

Tigers lose premiership talent for 2024 GFL season

Neale HarveyKalgoorlie Miner
Tom Gillett will play for Grovedale in Geelong next year.
Camera IconTom Gillett will play for Grovedale in Geelong next year. Credit: Amber Lilley/Kalgoorlie Miner

Boulder officials are facing a challenging few months in the run to the 2024 Goldfields Football League season in a bid to cover the loss of at least five key players from this year’s premiership team.

The Tigers broke a horror run of four consecutive grand final defeats in 2023 by holding off Railways in a pulsating grand final clash at Digger Daws Oval by two points.

But the black-and-golds’ flag defence will occur without champion forward Tom Gillett, midfielder Luke Polson, defenders Bailey Taylor and Errin Wesley-Black and Connor Maris.

The toughest to replace will be Gillett, whose debut in the GFL this year was underpinned by a competition-best 82 goals in 16 games.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.

READ NOW

But the 20-year-old missed out on Boulder’s victory in the grand final win because of an ankle injury sustained in round 19 against Mines Rovers and will resume his career next year with Grovedale in Geelong’s southern suburbs.

Boulder president Chris Bowie on Friday confirmed that Polson had signed with South Fremantle with Taylor moving to Albany for the final year of medical studies.

Maris moves on after this year kicking 14 goals in 14 games and Wasley-Black — a West Adelaide premiership player in 2015 — departs after being acquired before the June 30 clearance deadline.

Boulder’s Errin Wasley-Black, Bailey Taylor, Connor Marris and Toby Hawkins celebrate their 2023 Goldfields Football League’s grand final win.
Camera IconBoulder’s Errin Wasley-Black, Bailey Taylor, Connor Marris and Toby Hawkins celebrating their 2023 Goldfields Football League’s grand final win. Credit: Amber Lilley/Kalgoorlie Miner

There are also concerns over the early fitness of Jake Nuich.

Despite sustaining a knee injury in the third quarter of the second semifinal against Railways, Nuich played in the grand final.

But the fallout has centred on whether he sustained more damage and if surgery was an option.

Gillett, Nuich, Taylor and Polson were among eight Boulder players named to the GFL’s 2023 team of the year, alongside Andy Higgins, Toby Hawkins, Sam Burge and Alex Paech.

Bowie said the challenge was to hopefully replace them with players of similar quality.

“You lose players every year and you replace them with others,” he said.

“But that’s a fair old chop there to some of our best talent.”

No decisions had yet been made on the Tigers’ senior coaching positions for next year.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails