Mount Pleasant’s campaign to move up the Heathcote District Football Netball League ladder is gathering momentum.
The Blues had a disappointing season in 2017, but a strong recruiting campaign has them well-placed to push for finals in 2018.
After signing Kyneton star forward Ben Weightman and Golden Square premiership player Dale Young in October, new Blues’ coach Darren Walsh has added four more recruits this week.
University Blues duo Hugo Steinfort and Edward Ratcliffe have signed with Mounts, while the club has also added some BFNL experience in Eaglehawk’s Tom Pontell and Kyneton’s Harry Mulqueen.
Steinfort and Ratcliffe add experience and athleticism to the Blues’ squad.
Both players have strong leadership characteristics, with Steinfort a highly-skilled utility, while Ratcliffe is a tough in-and-under midfielder and a quality ball user.
Pontell will add to the Blues’ midfield depth after winning the past two Eaglehawk reserves best and fairest awards.
Mulqueen, who played seven senior games for the Tigers this year, can play at either end of the ground.
“We’ve been really specific in our recruiting, targeting quality players for specific positions, who are experienced leaders and good club people,’’ Walsh said.
“Ben, Dale, Hugo and Edward along with the other recruits will play a key role in developing our strong list of young players and will be huge assets for the club.”
The Blues are keen to continue to develop their youth in 2018.
Jordan Quirk and Will Pollard have returned to Mounts after playing in the BFNL under-18s this year.
Two-thirds of the Mt Pleasant senior list in 2017 was made up of players who played under-17 footy with the club and half of the senior list was under the age of 24.
With the lowest turnover of players in the HDFL last year, Mounts are confident in retaining the core of their list.
“Training has started really positively, plenty of numbers, great commitment and some strong improvements in the list already.
“The guys have embraced the changing game style and hard work and will have a strong foundation before Christmas.
“In the new year we will quickly turn our attention to game simulation with a focus on round one against Lockington.”
Mounts play the Cats at home in round one, are away to North Bendigo in round two before a home clash with Elmore in round three.
The Blues’ first bye is scheduled for round seven – the weekend after the general bye for the HDFNL’s country championships clash with Geelong District.