Premiership trio returning to North Bendigo in 2018

FAMILIAR FACES: Premiership players Jeremy Mills, Jordan Collins and Troy Kelm are returning to North Bendigo for the 2018 Heathcote District league season.
FAMILIAR FACES: Premiership players Jeremy Mills, Jordan Collins and Troy Kelm are returning to North Bendigo for the 2018 Heathcote District league season.

THREE North Bendigo premiership players are returning to the Bulldogs for the 2018 Heathcote District league season.

Hot on the heels of announcing Matt Dillon as their new coach, the Bulldogs have also confirmed the trio of Troy Kelm, Jeremy Mills and Jordan Collins have signed at Atkins Street.

Star ruckman Kelm and the versatile Jeremy Mills both played in the Bulldogs’ 2015 premiership – Kelm was best on ground in the win against Leitchville-Gunbower and Mills third in the Cheatley Medal that year – while wingman Collins played in the 2016 flag.

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Kelm played at St Kilda City this year and Collins was at Rupanyup, while Mills – who won Albion’s best and fairest in 2016 – had 2017 off while travelling.

The signing of the trio is the perfect kickstart for Dillon’s coaching tenure at the Bulldogs, with Kelm’s return particularly significant given Brett Strange has retired.

“To get three quality premiership players has been a massive effort by the club,” Dillon said on Friday.

To get three quality premiership players has been a massive effort by the club

Matt Dillon

“The quality of the guys coming back in is high class and I know a lot of the people I’ve already spoken to are excited with those three guys coming back to the club.

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“It’s obviously really pleasing to be just starting in the role to get the three guys on board.”

One of the areas the Bulldogs aim to improve in next season is leg speed and Collins will assist with that, while Mills’ ability to kick goals will be an asset given he kicked 60 in his previous two seasons with North Bendigo in 2014 and 2015.

The Bulldogs – this year’s runners-up – have had their player points cap reduced next year from 42 to 40.