Barellan hope the signing of four experienced players from Canberra will pay dividends in their search for a coach as well as provide a huge lift in their on-field competitiveness.
Former Tuggeranong quartet James McCabe, Matt Bernasconi, Will Prowse (all 27) and Mal Fernie, 28, have committed to a season with the Two Blues.
All four have had experience in the North East Australian Football League.
Centre-half-forward McCabe and centre-half-back Bernasconi will ensure class in key positions, ruckman Prowse fills the void left by London-bound Steve Conlan while Fernie is a quality small forward-midfielder.
Barellan president Mark Kenny said the signings are a boost for the club after a tough two years back in the Farrer League.
“An injection of these type of players will bring a bit of confidence to the whole club,” Kenny said.
“We’ve done very well off the field as a club and committee but we’ve struggled a bit on the field and we want to reward those guys who have committed to us for the last two years with a bit of success.
“Our younger brigade have improved a hell of a lot since we rejoined the Farrer League and these guys, having played a better standard, will help continue that.”
Former coach Will Overs was crucial in the signings and vouched for the players’ attitude and approach, saying they were the right type of footballers to sign as travelling recruits.
Kenny said adding some quality talent will help in their hunt to find a replacement for Overs, who stood down after two years as coach.
“When you’ve been wooden-spooners and you approach someone they want to know who you’ve got and these guys will certainly assist with that,” Kenny said.
Barellan – who had just the one win in 2016 – believe they were only a couple of players away from being competitive in most games. The club hopes that the addition of the travelling recruits will put them in a position to compete for a finals spot.
And Kenny said the positivity is a two-way street, with the players genuinely excited about playing for a small town club in the atmosphere of a country league.
“These guys are excited to come to a club like Barellan. Every home game we’ve got cars all around the ground. They’re over playing and no-one’s watching (in Canberra). They can’t believe it out here, with the crowds and the way people get involved.”
“They’re so excited.”
The Two Blues are likely to lose Riley Menz as well as Stephen Conlan but are hopefully of retaining the rest of their squad.