LOCKINGTON-Bamawm United has injected another 101 games of AFL experience into its side with the signing of former Geelong and Carlton player David Clarke for the 2015 Heathcote District Football League season.
Clarke is a family friend of LBU coach John Halloran and is the second ex-AFL player the Cats have signed in as many years after former Hawthorn and North Melbourne forward Jonathan Hay joined the club in 2014.
Clarke, 34, played 89 AFL games for Geelong between 1999 and 2003, and 12 for Carlton in 2004 and 2005.
He played last year for Mansfield in the Goulburn Valley Football League and joins the team that has won the past four HDFL premierships.
"It's great to bring him into our midfield group," Halloran said.
"We've had Johnny Hay as a key position player, but to bring that midfield experience that he has for our young guys to learn off is going to be great.
"He's excited about the challenge, so he's going to be a great addition to the club."
Clarke was previously handed a 15-match suspension in 2012 for tripping an umpire while playing for St Mary's in the Geelong Football League, but Halloran said that incident was well behind the Cats' new recruit.
"He has put all that behind him. He's a police officer in Melbourne, so in terms of him being a reputable person, the club is super excited to get him on board," Halloran said.
"He had a bit of a brain fade, has done his time and moved on."
The Cats return to the training track next Monday to continue their build-up to their premiership defence.
The departures from last year's premiership team that came from behind to defeat North Bendigo by 11 points in the grand final are co-captain Nathan O'Brien and Chris Hudson (Eaglehawk), Simon Keleher (Ormond), Leigh Deledio (retired), Trent Bacon (Rochester) and Nathan Bacon (Newbridge), while talented forward Lachlan Collins is considering a move to Rochester.
Halloran is coaching the Cats for the first time, but the two coaches who have guided LBU to its four flags in a row, Kahl Oliver (2011-13) and Adrian Dohnt (2014), are both playing on again with the club.
Hay, who played both forward and back last year, also intends to play with the Cats again.
The Cats open their 2015 season at home with the grand final rematch against North Bendigo on April 11.