Tullamarine’s off season recruiting haul was a little bit busier than anticipated.
The Demons, who this year made the Essendon District Football League division 1 grand final, have been one of the busier division 1 teams in the off season.
Coach David Connell said while they had planned to add some players, others had approached the club about coming across, in expectation the club was in a premiership window.
Blair Cronin, James Harmes, Anthony Liberatore and Cameron Hare are all returning to the club after playing elsewhere in recent years.
Hare and Cronin have spent large chunks of their careers at the Demons.
Connell said it was important to get such players back to the club as they continue build their list.
Nathan Sciberras, Travis Anderson and Ethan Hope also have all come on board.
Former Hillside skipper Joel Bonnici added some more depth to the side, and Connell said he had made an immediate impact.
“We knew early that he wanted to come on board,” he said. “He hasn’t missed a beat and has shown great leadership.”
The Demons do have a battle on their hands to sign up Hayden Blythe, who is contracted with Glenroy.
Blythe has played both VFL and TAC Cup football.
Connell said they would look at all their options to get Blythe playing for them.
The Demons have lost Luke Hampshire and Claudio Campos while Russell Laurie and Craig Steele have retired.
Connell said it was promising to keep most of the squad together for at least another year.
The past two times the Demons made grand finals, in 2014 and 2016, the club lost several players.
“Everyone is wanting to stay on board,” he said. “The boys are here for the right reasons.
“In the past we’ve made a grand final and it’s taken us two years to get back.
“The motivation is high to get straight back.”