Golden Square is confident it is on track to improve in 2018 despite the departure of two of its premier players.
Clayton Anderson (Mitiamo) and Tom Toma (Cohuna) have left the Bulldogs, but they have signed former Sunraysia Football League star Brad Eaton and Wedderburn’s Nathan Holt.
Eaton, 34, has been one of the best players in Sunraysia football for more than a decade, winning multiple league best and fairests and representing Victoria Country.
A Bendigo Pioneers graduate, Eaton celebrated a premiership with Irymple in his final game in Mildura before relocating to Bendigo with his family.
His friendship with former Pioneers team-mate Simon Rosa led him to signing with Golden Square.
“We are thrilled to get Brad because he brings a lot of leadership to the club, which is what we need with the young group we have,’’ Golden Square football operations manager Shawn McCormick said.
“Aside from being a very good player, Brad has plenty of coaching experience, so he’ll strengthen our coaching group.”
The Dogs have also signed 21-year-old Holt - a three-time premiership player with Wedderburn in the North Central Football League and he finished sixth in the Redbacks’ best and fairest this year.
“Nathan can play across half-back or half-forward and we think he’ll fit in nicely,’’ McCormick said.
“Nathan is a good size and he’s a terrific kid.
“Just as importantly, we’re bringing back a number of one point players to the club who will bolster our depth.
“We also hope to bring a couple more recruits to the club which will have us in good shape for next year.”
2017 was always going to be Anderson’s finals season with his beloved Bulldogs.
The star defender played his 200th senior game for the Dogs this year and will finish his career with the Mitiamo Superoos in the LVFNL.
“Clayton’s value to the club won’t be forgotten,’’McCormick said.
“He played 200 games, he’s a life member and he battled adversity to come back to the club and play in premierships.
“The club has a lot of gratitude to Clayton for what he’s done.”
After winning Square’s best and fairest award for the second time this year, Toma has returned to his home club at Cohuna.
The classy forward/midfielder had an outstanding three seasons with the Dogs.
“The pull of playing at home was too much for Tom,’’ McCormick said.
“He’s been great for the club on and off the field and he leaves the club with our blessing.”