IT'S been tough going, but Bendigo Gold coach Aussie Jones says he won't quit hunting quality recruits for next season.
With most of the VFL club's squad confirmed, off-season signings were always going to slow down.
But picking up some experienced footballers and, ideally, more height remains a priority.
"There's a bit happening, we are hopeful of signing at least one (player we're talking to)," Jones said.
"One played VFL this year and is a star, but we've been hopeful of signing a lot and only landed two or three - they're hard to get.
"It has been pretty slow for a little bit, we went hard early and we'll sign probably another three or four before the Christmas break, more if we can, but that's probably realistic.
"Then we'll have about five available for guys that are working hard on the track after Christmas."
A squad of about 35 players have hit the track in Bendigo, while another 15 are training with the Melbourne-based squad.
Jones and his staff have been able to push the players harder in what is the second VFL pre-season for many and he's challenged the players not to back off over the Christmas break.
The Gold will then start building towards practice matches against the Footscray Bulldogs on March 15 in Bendigo, at Collingwood on March 22 and at home against Frankston on March 29.