MARONG's bid to contend for its first Loddon Valley league premiership in more than 30 years has received a major boost with the Panthers securing the key forward target they have been craving - Kain Robins.
Robins, one of the region's most decorated players, joins the Panthers having recently relinquished the coaching reins of North Central league club Charlton.
The 2006 Bendigo league Michelsen medallist and dual Eaglehawk premiership star will play under his former Hawks' team-mate Linton Jacobs, who has taken over as Marong coach.
"It's a massive acquisition for the club. Kain has been a star country footballer for a long time and Marong has been screaming out for a big power forward for a while," Jacobs said on Friday.
"It was a position that we wanted to get filled as early as possible, so getting someone in of Kain's experience and quality is huge for the club."
It's a massive acquisition for the club. Kain has been a star country footballer for a long time and Marong has been screaming out for a big power forward for a whileLinton Jacobs - Marong coach
The Panthers haven't had a forward kick more than 40 goals in a season since Josh McKee's 44 in 2014.
Robins, 36, is a two-time centurion having kicked 120 and 117 goals for Southern Mallee Giants in 2016 and 2017.
"We think we'll be able to have a really good brigade of smaller players around him. And his experience for the young guys is going to be invaluable as well. It's great to have good people coming on board," Jacobs said.
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Jacobs has been in the Marong coaching role for less than a fortnight, but has already added recruits to each area of the ground.
As well as key forward Robins, the Panthers - who haven't won a senior flag since 1989 - have also signed Richard Tibbett (earmarked to play centre half-back), former coach Corey Gregg (midfield) and Cory Jacobs (half-forward/midfield).
"With Lino, Tibby and Greggy coming out it has been a big appeal and it's a lot more practical only living five minutes down the road," Robins said.
"When Locky (Damien Lock) was coaching out here I used to train here on a Tuesday night, so I'm familiar with a lot of the guys, and there's obviously the appeal there of trying to help a club that hasn't won a premiership for a long time.
"I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into it next year."
Marong finished sixth last year with a 7-9 record under former coaches Taylor Beard and Ash Weldon.
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