Haydon out, Humble in: South Mandurah lose star, gain promising young gun

South Mandurah will have to make do without Andrew Haydon in season 2019, with the star midfielder set to resurrect his WAFL tenure with South Fremantle.

The 25-year-old has spent the past two seasons staking his claim as the Peel Football and Netball League's best midfielder following a stint with Peel Thunder in 2016.

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He took home the Ross Elliott Medal as the league's best and fairest after a stunning 2017 campaign, with his dominance continuing into the following year.

But the PFNL star is all set for a return to the state level this season after signing with the Bulldogs.

South Mandurah will be without Andrew Haydon in 2019. Photo: Justin Rake.

South Mandurah will be without Andrew Haydon in 2019. Photo: Justin Rake.

It's a loss that Falcons coach Paul Pannell admits will be tough to cover.

"Losing Andrew, that really hurts our midfield," Pannell said.

"We're rapt for him to be playing footy at a higher level, but obviously it leaves us with some work to do.

"He's such a hard worker and just missing that work rate is going to make things difficult - we won't be able to fill that gap with just one player, it's going to take raised effort from four or five guys to cover that."

But the inclusion of young gun Michael Humble - who makes his way back to the Falcons following a stint with Peel Thunder - should help ease the strain on South Mandurah's remaining midfielders.

Humble won the Jack Clarke Medal as the WAFL's best and fairest colts player in 2016, going on to play five league and 36 reserves games with the Thunder.

Now he'll look to bolster South Mandurah's young stocks, with Pannell excited about the addition of the smooth-moving 21-year-old.

"His (Humble's) skills are fantastic and he's a hard tackler, so we're excited about bringing Michael back to the club," the coach said.

"We see him being able to play anywhere. His skills allow him to play midfield, forward and back so he could help us out in a variety of roles."

Michael Humble pictured after his 2016 Jack Clarke Medal win. Photo: Justin Rake.

Michael Humble pictured after his 2016 Jack Clarke Medal win. Photo: Justin Rake.

The Falcons were dealt another blow to their midfield stocks when Kevin Dubicki was ruled out for the year with a knee injury, while promising youngster Brandon Penny has left the club to play for their rival Mandurah Mustangs.

Gun half back Jaydon Cullen will also be missing as he tries his hand at the WAFL level with Peel.

But Pannell remains confident the side is in a strong position with a handful of young players coming through the ranks.

"Guys like Riley Steinbock and Troy Lee will continue to develop, and there are a few others as well," he said.

"We'll just keep looking to bring young guys through."

The Falcons will play a pair of scratch matches next month before kicking their season off against Baldivis on Saturday, April 6.