IN a huge blow to Orange Hawks’ already stumbling 2014 Group 10 premier league season, the two blues will be without club stalwart Todd Barrow.
Barrow, who missed the opening seven rounds due to injury, was expected to return to Hawks’ top grade line-up in time for finals footy.
Instead, he will don the red, white and navy blue of perennial Group 11 heavyweights Parkes after signing a contract with the Spacemen last Monday, for the remainder of the 2014 season.
“I just wanted a bit of a change, I wasn’t enjoying my footy,” Barrow said.
“I had spoken to Patty Rosser (Parkes captain-coach) a bit earlier in the year about footy, but I didn’t think I was going to play at all to be honest.
“There was no falling out, or anything like that, the bottom line is I just wasn’t happy.
“I still love Hawks, it’s still my club. That’s the reason I didn’t sign with someone else in Group 10, I’d never be able to play against them.”
Barrow was granted a release by Hawks two weeks ago, and made his Group 11 debut in the fifth-placed Spacemen’s 50-34 loss to Dubbo CYMS last Sunday.
“I definitely wasn’t up to it match fitness-wise,” he said.
“But I’ve had a fair lay-off with injury so that will come. I’m just concentrating on playing well for Parkes for the moment, but eventually I would like to get back to Hawks, hopefully for the chance to play with my little brothers.
“Jye is playing under 18s and Kade will be up in the seniors next season.”
Parkes captain-coach Pat Rosser, who played in the NSW Country seconds with Barrow in 2010, said Barrow’s inclusion will somewhat alleviate the Spacemen’s depth problem.
“Todd will be a real asset,” Rosser said.
“We were a bit skinny on depth due to a few injuries and such, and he adds real value as a utility player.
“He can play anywhere from the front-row to the centres, he’s got a lot of experience, he’s played plenty of rep footy and he’s very professional about his preparation, and the way he plays.
“It was a happy coincidence we picked him up really. We never really chase players from elsewhere, unless they express interest to us first, so it worked out well with Todd.
“He’s a pretty good pick-up for us.”