THE Bendigo Gold has landed its first recruit for 2014, with former Gold Coast Suns academy tall Angus Watts committing to the VFL club.
Watts, a 193cm 18-year-old, was part of the inaugural Gold Coast academy squad and played NEAFL with Labrador last season.
"He's only 18, but he's a good size, he plays at both ends and will walk into our side no worries," Bendigo coach Aussie Jones said.
"To be on the fringe of Gold Coast when they brought in all those 16 and 17-year-olds, and he was thereabouts, is pretty handy."
In a positive sign there's faith in the Gold's pathway to the AFL, Watts contacted Jones about heading to central Victoria.
"He actually came to us, he felt that he got a bit flat at (NEAFL) level and has to play higher, he wants to get drafted, and he felt that we were the best fit," Jones said.
Watts joins Echuca's pacy half-back flanker Matt Farrelly by signing for next season.
Farrelly, 20, returns after an impressive debut VFL season, which saw him narrowly miss out on earning a Big V jumper for the state match against WA.
Farrelly will increase his commitment to the Gold by relocating to Bendigo next season.
"It's very handy to keep Faz, he played in the Young Guns game again and he fits right up the top end of our group," Jones said.
Farrelly has elite speed and is understood to be on the radar of AFL clubs.
The signings takes the Gold's confirmed squad to 16 players for next year, a month out from pre-season training.
"To have that many signed when we've got a number of the current guys still thereabouts, that's huge for us - ahead of where I thought we'd be," Jones said.
"I reckon we'll have 25 signed before the start of pre-season."
Jones travelled to the Gold Coast last week to speak to potential recruits and hopes to announce more new players soon.
"We're pretty confident two, maybe three, of these guys I spoke to in Queensland will come on as well," he said.