O’Keefe blow for Lions

Updated: December 8, 2015
Guy O'Keefe has departed Leopold after 50 games. Picture: VICKI KING
Guy O'Keefe has departed Leopold after 50 games. Picture: VICKI KING

Guy O’Keefe has departed Leopold after 50 games with the club. Picture: VICKI KING

LEOPOLD has suffered an off-season blow with 2014 Mathieson medallist Guy O’Keefe leaving the club.

It was an emotional O’Keefe that told his Lions teammate at training last night he is moving to Melbourne.

“His girlfriend has only been recently accepted into uni in Melbourne, so she’ll move up there, and Guy’s a scaffolder on commercial sites and all his work is up in Melbourne,” Lions coach Steve Clark said.

“It’s just going to make it too hard for him to travel. He starts at 5.30am and doesn’t knock off until 5.30ish of a night.

“Even last year when he was doing it living locally, he had a lot of trouble getting to training.

“It’s been a hard decision for him, but it’s totally understandable.”


O’Keefe, who spent time on the Western Bulldogs list, joined Leopold in 2012 after being released by SANFL club South Adelaide.

He managed just 15 games in his first two seasons with the Lions before his surprise Mathieson Medal win in 2014 where he played a key role in helping Leopold to its first GFL grand final appearance.

The 26-year-old polled 24 votes to win by one from Newtown & Chilwell warrior Matt McMahon.

“He obviously had his off-field issues and Leopold was able to bring him in and help him straighten out,” Clark said.

“He said last night he will be forever grateful for the Leopold footy club giving him that opportunity and he hopes been able to have some impact while he’s been here.”

O’Keefe, who has been linked to Essendon and District club Strathmore, played 50 senior games and kicked 72 goals for Leopold.

He will leave a hole that needs filling in the Lions’ line-up, but Clark is confident he can be replaced with the likes of Mitch Patten and Logan Wagener returning from a year with the Geelong Falcons.

“What we’ve been able to do over the last five years is blood a lot of young kids, and some of those young kids will be able to step up and jump into that role,” Clark said.

O’Keefe’s departure comes following that of veteran spearhead Jason Tom to GDFL club Bannockburn.

The pair finished top three in Leopold’s goal-kicking, with Tom finishing with 56 majors and O’Keefe 34.

MEANWHILE, Colac media is reporting reigning CDFL premier Simpson has signed Grovedale’s Daniel Razga.

Razga played 72 games and kicked 65 goals for the Tigers. He was part of their maiden GFL grand final appearance in 2013.

Twitter: @tom_king79