INTER-LEAGUE representative Jake O'Brien is among two players leaving their BFNL clubs to join Gisborne in 2020.
The Bulldogs have signed both O'Brien from Castlemaine and Leyton Chisholm from Kyneton as they aim to build on their preliminary final appearance of this year under new coach Rob Waters.
Classy midfielder O'Brien has spent the past two years at Castlemaine, which included winning the Magpies' best and fairest in 2018, while he earned the most consistent award in 2019.
O'Brien, who has VFL experience with Port Melbourne, was part of this year's BFNL inter-league team that belted Outer East by 99 points, kicking two goals in the QEO drubbing in May.
"Jake is an apprentice chippie and his boss is Tim Walsh (Gisborne defender). They share a car every day, Jake lives at Romsey, which is 15 minutes from Gisborne, and went to school with a lot of the boys, so he has a connection," Waters said on Sunday.
"He's obviously a class player that we expect will complement our running style of game and fit in well with our list.
"He played well in the inter-league game and Patty McKenna (Gisborne forward) was a huge wrap for him that day as both a footballer and a bloke."
Chisholm is a former Bendigo Pioneer who at the age of 19 has already played 45 senior games for Kyneton after making his debut in 2016.
"He's really good mates with Liam Spear (Gisborne player) and had the opportunity to be part of this year's inter-league squad where he had quite a bit to do with Matt Goodyear (Gisborne midfielder),'' Waters said.
Chisholm played with the Victoria Country under-19 team this year alongside Gisborne's Liam Spear and Brad Bernacki.
"He's doing a VFL pre-season with North Melbourne, which is a great opportunity for him," Waters said.
"He's a very versatile player. The day he played for the Victoria Country under-19 team he played half-forward and half-back and through the midfield.
"He's a really good size and I like him as a tall wingman who can run and carry the footy and has a nice left foot."
With the signings of O'Brien and Chisholm secured, the Bulldogs are now on the hunt for a replacement for ruckman Josh Grabham, who has signed with Riddell.
Midfield ace Ethan Minns will be overseas next year, but the Bulldogs are hopeful he will be available for the back end of the season.
Former coach Clinton Young has been appointed midfeld coach of VFL club Williamstown, with Gisborne remaining hopeful the club will be able to get some games out of Young when his commitments allow.
Jack and Ryan Baker are both on the move to Queenscliff, while the club will again have to manage gun defender James Ferry (knee) throughout the year.
A huge boost for the Bulldogs next season will be the return of 2018 best and fairest Jack Reaper to the backline after he missed all of 2019 with a knee injury, while young gun forward Jack Scanlon is recovering from shoulder surgery.
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