ELEVEN years after he last played for the club, Bendigo Football League Michelsen medallist Lucas Matthews is returning to Eaglehawk next season.
Matthews played for the Hawks between 1997 and 2002 – a six-year stint in which he won the Michelsen Medal in 2001, the Eaglehawk best and fairest in 2000 and 2002, and the Bendigo Advertiser Player of the Year Award in 2001 and 2002.
The midfielder was also a five-time BFL representative player.
Since leaving Canterbury Park, the 33-year-old has had successful stints playing in the ACT and Queensland, while this year he played for Koondrook Barham, winning the club’s best and fairest.
Matthews’ footballing resume is littered with league and club best and fairests, team of the year selections, premierships and Australian Country Football Championships honours.
“He has played 88 games at Eaglehawk and travelled all around Australia playing footy, but hasn’t got to 100 games at a club,” Hawks coach Luke Monaghan said.
“So coming back to his home club and the chance to play 100 games there, as well as with some mates he has played with before, was a real incentive for him.”
The Hawks have also boosted their forward stocks with the signing of Ryan Evans, who was Lorne’s leading goalkicker for the past five years.
“Ryan is one of Lucas’ good mates, so that came together nicely for us,” Monaghan said.
“He has kicked 70-plus goals a season for Lorne for the past few years. He’s a powerful player with a good set of hands.
“We really needed to strengthen up our forward line after last season having Matt Gretgrix as our only real avenue to goal, so Ryan will help us in that area.”
Gretgrix (60) was the only Hawks player to kick more than 12 goals last season.