READ MORE - 2019 Michelsen Medal, Betty Thompson Medal wrap
MOUNT Pleasant has landed a major recruiting coup with the signing of reigning Bendigo league Michelsen medallist Adam Baird.
Baird is one of the region's most decorated footballers, with a resume that includes four premierships at Golden Square, dual Victoria Country representative, including captaining the team last year, eight-time Bendigo inter-league player, two-time Square best and fairest and BFNL Michelsen medallist last year.
The 30-year-old star goalkicking midfielder's move to Toolleen as an assistant coach comes after the Blues signed his older brother, key position player Travis Baird, last year.
"I eventually want to get into coaching once the body starts to slow down. I'll be 31 next year, so being an assistant to Darren who is very knowledgeable is a great opportunity to learn from him," Baird said on Thursday.
"If I can learn off Darren for a few years, maybe one day I could get back to Square in the top job. I just thought I'd start out at Mounts first to learn a bit about coaching.
If I can learn off Darren for a few years, maybe one day I could get back to Square in the top job. I just thought I'd start out at Mounts first to learn a bit about coaching- Adam Baird
"The other part of making the move is to play with Travis again. He probably only had this year left in him before the season got canned.
"So it's a good opportunity to play with Travis for the last time and learn a bit about coaching as well from Darren."
This isn't the first time Baird has signed with Mount Pleasant. He was set to join the Blues in 2014 before moving to Queensland for work.
Baird is joining a Mount Pleasant side on the up after last year reaching the Heathcote District league preliminary final just two years after a wooden spoon.
"We felt we needed to get some A graders into our midfield and what better way to start then to get last year's Vic Country captain," Blues coach Darren Walsh said.
"Adam is an elite talent and it just adds to the excitement for the club moving forward.
"The main reason he is coming out is to play with his brother because Travis probably only has one or two years left in him, so it's great to have another quality family coming out to Mounts.
"It has obviously been disappointing we haven't been able to play this year, but moving forward it's a really exciting time for the club.
"We've improved our facilities with a new electronic scoreboard and superbox, but we know as a coaching group and a club we've got to keep working hard to again achieve that Mount Pleasant culture of success of the past."
Mount Pleasant now has three multiple Golden Square premiership players on its list.
Between them the Baird brothers have seven Square flags with Adam's four and Travis' three, while Brayden Dorrington, who signed last year, is a three-time Bulldogs' premiership player.
"We feel that our list is in good shape and at this stage we haven't lost anyone," Walsh said.
"We recruited four or five last year who haven't had the chance to play this year and we've added in an elite midfielder. Our recruiting manager Tom Bickley has done a really good job."
As well as Baird's midfield prowess, he's also damaging inside 50 having kicked 179 goals for Golden Square, with whom he first played senior football with in 2008 alongside Walsh.
"He's on board as a playing assistant coach, which is an area he wants to develop and I'm really keen to work closely with him in that aspect, but I'll be able to learn off him too," Walsh said.
"And I think our players will learn a massive amount in terms of standards and intensity both on the field and training track."
As well as Baird's eight inter-league games for Bendigo, he has also represented North Central league once when he was at Donald.
SIGN UP FOR BEST ON GROUND, THE AFL NEWSLETTER YOU CAN'T MISS: Straight into your mailbox every Thursday before the first bounce
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.