Williamstown is bringing in some fresh blood as it looks toward the next Victorian Football League season.
This year’s grand finalist has lost a number of its core group who have decided to call time on their VFL careers.
The departures of Sam Dunell, Nick Meese, Jack Charleston, Leigh Masters, Willie Wheeler, Oliver Tate and Ben Kennedy leave big holes in the line-up.
With that in mind, Williamstown coach Andy Collins said it was important to bring some more experience into the group.
“We’ve lost some really good players, but it’s an opportunity to recruit some good players,” he said.
“We’ve got some really strong leaders coming in, some with VFL experience and others with AFL experience.
“We’re not finished yet, hopefully we’ll have a couple more good signings.”
The Seagulls’ biggest-name recruit so far is former Collingwood player Sam Murray. Murray played 13 games for the Magpies before missing this year through a drug suspension.
His brother Nick Murray has also joined the Seagulls.
“Sam is a terrific young man who made a terrible mistake,” Collins said.
“He’s a strong leader and a really good player.
“His brother is a different type of player, a lot taller, and brings a lot to the table. They wanted the opportunity to possibly play with each other.”
Former Geelong VFL captain and best and fairest winner James Tsitas has finally made the move to the Seagulls.
Collins, who has tried to recruit Tsitas for a number of years, said he was excited to get him.
“There was a bunch of players in 2014 who didn’t get drafted and ranked incredibly high.
Michael Gibbons, Ben Cavarra, Jake Greiser and Brett Bewley and he [Tsitas] is arguably the best of the lot.
“I’m really excited to get him, not only as a player, but as a leader.”
Frankston vice-captain Corey Rich will add some goalkicking strength. Luke Meadows joins his good mate Nick Rodda at the Seagulls.
Meadows starred in his first year in the VFL at Box Hill, having made the move across from Perth.
Tristian Davies is returning to Williamstown after completing his studies.
Former Adelaide-listed ruckman Paul Hunter will step into the shoes left vacant by Nick Meese.
Collins said a number of clubs were after Hunter, but a connection between Collins and Jonathan Beech, Hunter’s former Adeladie teammate, got them across the line.
Thomas Edwards Baldwin headlines the younger group of players that have joined the Seagulls.
“He, played in the WAFL grand final this year and is only 20 years old and is one of the best emerging talents in the game,” Collins said.
NAB League stars Charlie Dean, Lachie Stapleton, Mitch Mellis and Daly Andrews have also signed with the Seagulls