Hume City Broncos know better than most what new import Nelson Kirksey can do in the Big V men’s state championship division.
Having faced the 2018 league most valuable player and his team Hawthorn Magic six times last season, they got a first-hand view of Kirksey’s game.
Broncos coach Matt Foster said Kirksey fitted in perfectly with the type of player they were looking for.
Kirksey is a guard possessing an explosive first step and the ability to finish above the rim.
He averaged over 21 points last season.
“With Lee [Jeka] retiring, he was a good fit,” he said.
“He is one of the more dominant players in the competition and we’re happy to get him on board.”
Nelson is one of two new imports for the Broncos, with American big man Leland King also on board.
Foster, who has met King over in America, said that he would fill one area that let them down at times last season.
“He is more an inside guy than what we had,” he said.
“It’s where we got hurt and they scored a lot of points close to the basket, so we wanted a bit more size to defend those guys.
“It frees up Jake [Martin] to play on the perimeter.”
With the addition of Kirksey and King, it means Jordan Coleman and Jamal Shabazz aren’t returning this season.
While both played major roles in the Broncos grand final run, Foster said they played similar roles to some of the new local guys they had got in.
A trio of Diamond Valley Eagles recruits rounds out the new players for the Broncos.
Joel Rimes, who was the 2017 youth league MVP, Lukas Kafritsas and rebounding machine Liam Killey have also come across.
Shaun Prendergast, Shayan Mahoobi and Anthony Scott all return as well. Daniel Foster will play the first half of the season before heading to college.
Foster said they would look to bring up some youth league guys when they are needed.
Having made a grand final series last year, Foster knows they are unlikely to go under the radar this season.
He said this year will be different.
“We’ve still had a fair bit of turnover,” he said. “But it’s now my second year and there’s a lot of players that have played for me previously or played last year.
“Not everything is brand new and I’m more familiar with the team, so it’s been a slightly different pre-season.”