HAVING set its recruiting sight firmly on a ruckman, Birchip-Watchem has secured the Bendigo Football Netball League's most dominant big man of the past two seasons - Hamish Hosking.
Hosking has signed with the Bulls for the 2024 North Central league season, departing Sandhurst after winning two best and fairests in his two years with the Dragons.
Hosking has been an imposing presence on the field for the Dragons with his ability to not only give his team-mates first-use, but also gather the ball himself for clearances.
Hosking joins Birchip-Watchem off the back of the Bulls finishing third in the NCFL this year after bowing out of the finals in straight sets.
"It has all eventuated fairly quickly," Birchip-Watchem coach Trevor Ryan said this week.
"A ruckman was a position we felt we needed to come into our team. We've got Lochie Sirett at the club and he has been a really good ruckman for the club for a long time, but he could only play a handful of games this year because of hip soreness.
"Lochie has had that looked at by a specialist and there are no guarantees that he will be playing much footy for us next year and could be forced into retirement, so we had to get on the lookout for a ruckman.
"So we had a chat with Hamish and it basically went from that chat to signing him within five days... he was fairly keen to sort out his direction given he was being bombarded by a lot of clubs and we're lucky enough to get his services."
Hosking played 38 games in his two seasons with Sandhurst.
Across those 38 games he had 1711 hit-outs and 445 clearances and averaged 121.3 ranking points according to Premier Data, while the Dragons named him among their best players 28 times.
"Hamish would loved to have stayed with us, but the offer from Birchip was something he couldn't ignore and he goes with our blessing," Sandhurst co-coach Ashley Connick said.
"I think we signed him about six weeks before the season started last year and didn't really know what we were getting, but it's fair to say it turned out pretty well."
I think we signed him about six weeks before the season started last year and didn't really know what we were getting, but it's fair to say it turned out pretty well- Ashley Connick
As well as gun ruckman Hosking on the move, the Dragons also have their skipper of the past three seasons, Lee Coghlan, heading back to his junior club, Bridgewater, after more than 200 games with Sandhurst.
"Lee goes with our absolute best wishes," Connick said.
"The time and effort he had to put in to get up each week to play in the Bendigo league... he sets himself high standards and at this stage where he's close to the end it's good for him to tick that bucket list of heading back to Bridgewater and hopefully, have a couple of good years out at Bridgy."
Meanwhile, Donald has announced ruckman Josh Potter as its new senior coach for 2024 in the North Central league.
Donald had been coached for the past three years by Rohan Brown, who led the Royals into the 2022 grand final where they were beaten by Birchip-Watchem.
Brown was last month appointed the new coach of Lake Wendouree in the Ballarat league.
Fellow NCFL club St Arnaud is on the hunt for a new senior coach, with expressions of interest closing on October 31.
For more information contact Alistair Egan on 0418 502 266 or Bruce Hando on 0460 299 503.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: