REIGNING Heathcote District league premier North Bendigo has added more star power to its list with the signing of brothers Lachlan and Rhys Ford.
Lachlan joins the Bulldogs having won the past two best and fairests with Loddon Valley club Newbridge, while Rhys was Castlemaine’s leading goalkicker in the Bendigo league this year with 48.
Gun midfielder Lachlan is also a former best and fairest winner with Castlemaine.
“We’re always looking to improve and thought we needed another contested-style player in our midfield to help out the other guys who are in there doing all the hard work,” North Bendigo coach Rob Bennett said on Wednesday.
“We spoke to Lachie early and he was pleased with the direction the club is heading and that we are hanging onto our list, so that made his decision a bit easier.
“Lachie comes with a really good footy CV behind him and it’s great to have him.”
The signing of Rhys further strengthens an already imposing North Bendigo forward line that this year averaged 129 points per game.
Opposition defenders will now have to contend with Ford – a two-time Castlemaine leading goalkicker – Sam Barnes, Brady Herdman and dual premiership skipper Jordan Ford.
“Rhys is a versatile big fella that we see working with Barnesy, Brady and Jordan,” Bennett said.
“They all have versatility and can all play up the ground or deep, and we’ll also have the luxury of being able to put Jordan back to defence if we need to.”
As well as signing the Ford brothers, the Bulldogs will also have 2015 premiership player Jaran McKay returning next year.
At this stage the only two members of this year’s North Bendigo premiership team yet to commit for 2017 are Aiden Metcalf and Blayne Ryan-Storey.
“We’ve been in regular contact with them. It’s not that they will be going anywhere else, they are just weighing up whether they are going to play footy at all next year,” Bennett said.
The Bulldogs will have 42 player points next year, down from this season’s 44.