Former Essendon player Elliott Kavanagh will pull on the boots for Melton in this year’s Ballarat Football League season.

Kavanagh, who played 12 games in four years at the Bombers, agreed to join the Bloods just before Christmas.

Since being delisted by the Bombers, Kavanagh played a season for Central Districts in the South Australian National Football League, before returning to Victoria to play with Doncaster last year.

New Bloods coach Aaron Tymms said Kavanagh would play an important role in the midfield.

“It’s a massive signing for us,” Tymms said.

“He played a few games for the Bombers and brings that experience. He was a Melton junior originally and played with a lot of guys.”

Kavanagh was the biggest signing for the club in what hasn’t been an overly fruitful recruiting period for the Bloods. Tymms said they were still talking to players.

Bacchus Marsh premiership player Matt Denham is the other big name to sign with the club. Tymms said Denham, who played at the Bloods as a junior, hadn’t missed a beat at training before Christmas.

Brock Kennedy, Jordyn Cotter and Billy Crofts will all return to the club after being with VFL club Werribee last year.

Kennedy spent two years at Werribee, while Cotter and Crofts both spent a year at the Tigers.

All three have battled injuries the past few years. Tymms said they would add much-needed pace to the midfield.

He said they were looking forward to settling down at one club for the season and playing some consistent football.

“It’ll be a young side and we need to put some more leadership in there,” Tymms said.

“Having these three back for us is really good and they’ve been really good with their knowledge through pre-season.

“Even though they’re younger guys, they’ve got older heads having been at a higher level.”

Liam Carter has aligned with the Bloods, and will play with the club when not playing VFL for Williamstown.

Tymms said despite not playing many matches last season due to injury, the loss of Michael Licciardo, who was playing assistant coach, would be felt on the leadership team.

Mark Maric, Brock McGregor (both going to Essendon District Football League) and Dillon Sharp (Melton South) are the other key outs.

On the coaching side, Leigh Wilson has come on board as an assistant coach, along with Andrew Button. Ray Newman steps up to a match day assistant coach. Daniel Dimech will coach the reserves, while Bob Heaney is back at the Bloods looking after the under 18.5s.

The Bloods will kick off their season on April 21 at home against local rival Melton South.