Ky missing goalkicker Kyle

Missing Mueller: For the first time in several weeks Kyabram’s attack was able to function at a high level. The team has been missing Kyle Mueller, who is still a month away from a return. Photo by 2022

Kyle Mueller’s absence from the Kyabram goal-square this season has seen the team plummet from one of the highest scoring teams to — before Saturday’s season high score — the seventh ranked attack in the Goulburn Valley League competition.

Not since missing the finals in 2012 has Kyabram been ranked as low in regard to scoring — ironically the last time the club missed the GVL finals series (discounting non-finals COVID-19 seasons).

Before Saturday’s 145-point total against Tatura, the Bombers were averaging just 79 points a game, having managed to reach triple figures in only three of their 11 games.

Rochester and Seymour, which sit below the fifth ranked Bombers on the ladder, had both scored more frequently than the Kyabram team — before Saturday’s round 12 victory.

On four occasions the Bombers have either finished below 50 points or just snuck past the half century.

In 2012 the Bombers scored at an average of just 78 points a game, paling against its glory days — the Goulburn Valley’s last full season of 2021— when the Kyabram offence averaged 112 points in its 18 home and away games, finishing 500 points clear of second ranked Echuca.

Even the interrupted 2021 season, when just 11 games were contested, the Bombers were second only to Euroa in regard to points scored — finishing with an comparatively low average of 84 points a game.

In a low scoring season Euroa had the highest average of just 90.7 a week.

The Bombers 2334 points (an all-time high for the last decade, at least) in 2018 came in a three season run, between 2016-18 when they averaged 116.59 points a game.

The team was ranked no lower than third from 2015 back to 2013, but this year its scoring capability has been severely impacted by the loss of key personnel — and form.

Mueller’s absence has meant just four players have kicked more than 10 goals this year and, amazingly, he is one of them.

From 21 kicks in his two games to start the season — before a foot injury forced him to the sidelines — he kicked 10.8.

Mueller has 248 goals from his 86 appearances with Kyabram at senior level, kicking 29 goals from eight goals in last season’s stop start season.

His 2019 season, during which time the Bombers averaged almost 20 goals a game, produced 75 goals from 19 games.

In 2018 he kicked 51 goals from 13 games and had a 64-goal season (20 games) the year before.

In 2016 his seven games netted him five goals after a 2015 season (while still eligible for under-18 football) of seven goals from seven games.

He also played nine games with the Pioneers in the NAB league that season, having made three appearances as a bottom age player with the Bendigo based club in 2014.

He set a tone for his goalkicking prowess with 37 goals from 19 games as a bottom age player with Kyabram’s under-18 team in 2013.

Without Mueller it has fallen to Cooper Vick, Tom Holman and Anthony DePasquale to hit the scoreboard.

Vick has kicked 27.15 from 12 games to lead the Kyabram goalkicking, and coupled with his 17 scoring assists, is the team’s leading forward.

Holman’s accuracy in front of goal has been his strong point, kicking 25.7 and dishing off 28 assists for the season.

DePasquale’s 22.16 (14 assists) has him the third most effective forward with the team, but there is daylight — aside from the injured Mueller — to Aiden Robinson (seven goals).