BENDIGO ADDY'S LVFNL DECADE SERIES:
MAIDEN Gully YCW coach Wayne Mitrovic is hopeful the Eagles can gain a centre square advantage in the Loddon Valley league this year with the signing of ruckman Chris Howgate.
The Eagles will boast the league's tallest ruckman in Howgate, who is returning to the football field following a winter last year playing cricket in England.
"Chris is a massive in for us. We've been lacking a genuine ruckman for a couple of years, so we felt if we could get one who could give us first use it would make a huge difference to the way we can play," Mitrovic said on Thursday.
"We should be able to be more attacking with the way we set up with our midfielders around the centre square and the stoppages and put some pressure back on the opposition.
"He has fitted in really well at the club and to have a bloke running around who is six-foot-10 is going to be an asset."
Howgate, who is a dual premiership player with Wycheproof-Narraport, will also be an assistant coach at the Eagles.
As well as Howgate, the Eagles also have midfielder Nat McLaren returning following a season at Leopold in the Geelong league last year.
"Nat was a big loss for us last year. He played nine senior games for Leopold last year and would have learned a heap playing that level of footy," Mitrovic said.
"He's super fit, plays with flair and takes the game on and it will be great to have him back in our midfield."
The Eagles have also signed forward Sam Barnes from rival club Inglewood.
Barnes was runner-up in Inglewood's best and fairest last year, and was also the Blues' leading goalkicker with 20, while Mitrovic is also excited by the addition of Nick Edwards from Mount Pleasant.
"He's a bit of a utility who can play anywhere. He has predominantly been a half-back or a winger and is a good size. He should give us some flexibility," Mitrovic said.
While not a recruit, Mitrovic says the return of Sean Moyle after an injury-interrupted 2019 will be a major boost for the Eagles.
"Moyley only played six games last year and was winning our best and fairest at that point before being injured (back)," Mitrovic said.
"If we can keep him fit he's one of the best midfielders in the competition."
Departures from the Eagles include reigning best and fairest Nick Waterson (Sandhurst), Alex Pearson, who is headed to Queensland, Dylan Morris (Sandhurst) and Ryan Walker (White Hills), while Mitrovic is retired.
The Eagles play practice matches against Heathcote on March 21 and Leitchville-Gunbower on March 28.
BRADY CHILDS JOINS CALIVIL UNITED AS ASSISTANT COACH
BRADY Childs is headed to Calivil United in the Loddon Valley league, joining the Demons as an assistant coach.
Childs has a wealth of playing experience behind him at South Bendigo, where he coached from 2016 to 2018, and the Shepparton Swans, winning a premiership in 2014, while he has also played at VFL level with the Bendigo Bombers.
"It's looking like we'll have a young side, so from an on-field point of view his leadership and understanding of the game with that major league experience is going to be an asset for us," Calivil United coach Glen Scholtes said on Thursday.
"And with that coaching experience he has, what he can offer me as a first-time coach is going to be really valuable and give me a bit more confidence in understanding how it all works off the field."
Childs, who has endured two knee reconstructions in his career, has long been renowned as a hard-nut midfielder, but also showed at South Bendigo that he too can be a handful inside 50 playing as a forward.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.