Bacchus Marsh has looked to strengthen its side and add a bit more flexibility for this year’s Ballarat Football League season.
Having played off in a second straight grand final last season, this time falling short to Darley, the Cobras have looked to address a couple of key areas.
First was adding a couple more forward options. Second was to add more flexibility to the team.
Cobras coach Travis Hodgson said they believed they had achieved both in what has been a good preseason.
He said they were clearly a stronger side than last season.
The club announced the signings of Jake Owen and Jacob and Matthew Chisari early in the preseason and last week announced the signing of former North Melbourne player Ben Speight.
Speight, who played 10 AFL games along with more than 100 VFL games, last season played with Wangaratta Magpies in the Ovens and Murray Football Netball League.
He kicked 42 goals including three in the Magpies premiership win.
Hodgson said getting Speight was a bonus.
“You don’t usually jag guys like him in March,” he said.
“He as was floating around as he was trying to get into the aviation industry and we’ve been able to help guide him down that path.
“Looking at the competition he’s coming from, the amount of goals he scored would be mainly as a full forward.
“He’s a half forward midfielder, so to get him is massive.”
Hodgson said with the additions, their forward line will be more like the 2016 premiership one with several key focal points, instead of like last season when they were too reliant on Jarrah Maksymow.
He said one key area they looked to address in their player signings was adding players that could help them have different looks.
He said all the signings were in that key age bracket as well.
“With our best side we were hard to beat, but we had a few things go wrong at the end of the year and lacked that flexibility,” he said.
“All the players we’ve brought in aren’t restricted to the one area of the ground, and can play forward, back and on ball.”
Dean Heta and Matt Denham are the key departures for the Cobras, with the rest of the playing group staying around.
Kane White will miss the season after hurting his knee late last year, while Hodgson said Jackson Bolton is facing a late start to the season.
Billy Griffiths and Dylan Bishop were two of the younger players who look like they’ve taken the next step during the preseason.
Scott Sherlock will captain the side replacing Tyson Shea. Shea decided after 10 years in the role to stand down from it.