THE return of paceman Saheed Akolade to Spring Gully has continued a busy recruiting period for the Crows ahead of the Emu Valley Cricket Association season.
Akolade joins Beauden Rinaldi, Shaun O'Shea and the inclusion of premiership player Jarrod Quirk as recruits to the Crows.
Akolade, who first played with the Crows in February of 2015 after moving from Nigeria to Australia, is shifting back to Bendigo after being based in Melbourne last season.
"Saheed is keen to come back and play where he started. He played a few games with Yarraville last season, but hurt his shoulder and had a lot of the season off," Spring Gully president Damien Venville said on Tuesday.
"But he's going to be very handy coming back for us... he's still sharp enough with the ball and we're looking forward to having him come back."
Rinaldi is joining the Crows after a coaching stint with North Castlemaine, while he has also played 16 lower grade games for Premier Cricket club Carlton and has BDCA first XI experience with Strathfieldsaye.
"Beauden bowls a bit of spin, but mainly he will beef up our top order with the bat that already consists of Joel Bish, Jesse Marciano, Rhys Webb, Lachlan Brook and Shaun Makepeace," Venville said.
O'Shea is making the move to the Crows from fellow EVCA club California Gully, where he has been a long-time player.
Since 2008-09 O'Shea ranks No.9 in the EVCA for wickets with 164 and is the only player through that period to have two 10-wicket match hauls.
"Shaun was looking for a bit of a fresh start and he brings a lot of experience with him," Venville said.
"He's really good at reading situations, has been in the league a long time and we think he's going to be a great recruit for us.
"He will bat and bowl for us and has been very loyal to California Gully for a long time, so it took a bit of work to get him over the line and we feel privileged to have him come across."
Quirk will also add to the Crows' depth with his return from a hiatus.
The Crows will be coached by star all-rounder Rhys Webb, who has made 2428 runs at an average of 49.5 in his four seasons at the club.
The Crows will again be captained by James Fox.
Spring Gully finished top of the EVCA's division one ladder last season, but lost a thrilling semi-final by one wicket to fourth-placed Emu Creek.
"It was disappointing the way it ended in the semi-final, but we don't want to dwell on the past," Venville said.
Crows' past five seasons:
2019-20: 3rd (9 wins)
2018-19: 2nd (11 wins)
2017-18: 1st (9 wins)
2016-17: 5th (5 wins)
2015-16: 2nd (8 wins)
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