John Vanderwaal out for season due to health concerns | Photos | Video

Moyston-Willaura full forward John Vanderwaal will miss the rest of the season, due to health concerns discovered recently.

The Pumas forward, who was Victoria’s leading goalkicker in 2016, has been in Melbourne to get tests after a mass was found on his brain.

Club president Daniel Guinane said that a football related incident led to the discovery.

"He got knocked out a few weeks ago playing football and was still having head spins a while after, so he went to get an MRI and that was when it was picked up,” he said.

“The concussion was in no way connected to the mass developing, but it helped pick it up.

“It was definitely a blessing in disguise that it happened so he found out earlier.”

Vanderwaal has been a vital part of the club in the recent past, coaching the under-16.5 team along with playing in the senior team.

Guinane said Vanderwaal is a popular character around the club and will be a big loss on the field for the rest of the year.

“He has been huge for us, he has been part of the club since the time it amalgamated to Moyston-Willaura,” he said.

“He is a life member, coaches the under-16.5 and has been playing senior football for many years as well.

"These sorts of incidents certainly puts football on the backburner though, when someone’s health is involved.”

The concussion... was definitely a blessing in disguise

Pumas president Daniel Guinane

When these situations occur, football club’s and small communities are renowned for pulling together and this is no different.

Guinane said a new coach has been appointed for the under-16.5 team to take the reins of the undefeated juniors while Vanderwaal is away from the club.

“It is probably the first time I have had to deal with something like this with someone so close to the football club,” he said.

“One of the first things he was so worried about was the under-16.5 who is undefeated.

“So that just goes to show what sort of man he is, thinking about others ahead of himself all the time.”


Guinane said the club will help the Vanderwaal through this hard period.

“The club will provide him with support in any way possible but we also do not want to overstep the mark,” he said.

“John lives just a short walk from the Moyston footy oval, he definitely won't be away from the club, he will still be around as much as he can I would imagine.

“So we will talk to John and his wife Bec and offer any assistance they need along the way.”