East Sunbury has looked to add more experience to its list for next year’s Essendon District Football League division 2 season.

After a grand final appearance last year, East Sunbury had a number of changes to their playing list which resulted in a slow start this year.

Despite settling down in the back half of the season they missed out on finals.

Coach Glenn Hopkins said they were hoping to continue that late momentum into next year.

“We lost a lot of players and we didn’t have the same playing group as the year before,” he said of this season’s start.

“We got some experience back into the side late in the year and it got us going again.”

Hopkins said training, which finished up for the year last week, had attracted good numbers.

He said they focused on bringing in players to fill particular roles and they thought they had recruited quite well for next year.

Diggers Rest duo Tom Evans and Ryan Peters have come across.

Neither played many senior games this year, but Hopkins said they expected them to play a big role for the Thunder.

“We consider them good blokes and good footballers and we need some experience,” he said.

“They have not missed a night of training and we know that they can be good senior footballers.”

Jake Cronin, who has come across from Greenvale, is a tall forward option, while Joel Butler will give the Thunder another inside midfielder.

Jack Burnell, who played in the Thunder’s finals series in 2018, returns to the club after spending this year at Rupertswood.

Hopkins said they had also brought in a couple of other players they think can play senior football.

“We’ve recruited some players that are really good for the club and the footy side of things.”

The majority of the Thunder’s playing list from the end of this year has also returned.

“Besides Tom Cree, the full list from this year, everyone has re-signed,” Hopkins said.

“To get them all back on board gives us a bit of consistency on the playing list, while topping up with good players.”

Cree has headed to the Sunbury Lions to test himself at a higher level in the Ballarat Football League.

He has been one of the Thunder’s best players in recent years.

Hopkins said they had worked with Cree to make him a more consistent player and wished him luck at the Lions.

“He is always welcome at our club.”

The added depth to the Thunder’s list is important for the club as it strengthens its reserves side.

The club is also hoping to get an under-19s team back up and running after failing to get the number to field a team this year.

Hopkins said any players who wanted to come down and play were welcome.

East Sunbury kicks off their season on April 4 at home against the Northern Saints.