Wagga Tigers have landed their first significant recruitment coup with the signing of Melbourne-based footballer Nick Keegan.
The Riverina League heavyweight have been hit hard by player departures this off-season but have commenced their fightback.
Keegan arrives at Wagga Tigers from Olinda Ferny Creek in the AFL Yarra Ranges’ premier league and has experience at Victorian Football League (VFL) level.
The 23-year-old spent time on Northern Blues’ and Casey Demons’ development lists, while he was also a Victorian Country under 19 squad member.
Wagga Tigers captain-coach Shaun Campbell is thrilled to welcome Keegan on board.
“He’ll be real handy,” Campbell said.
“Anyone who has played at VFL level has got to be pretty handy. He’ll bring some pace and a bit of experience to help lead the young fellas around.
“We’ve got plenty of good young blokes, it’s good now to get someone with a bit of experience at a higher level to help lead them around.”
Noted for his run and carry, Keegan is expected to slot in either across half-back or on a wing for Tigers.
The 2016 premiers have also added East Wagga-Kooringal footballer Mitch Castles and Dean Ward to their list.
Ward has not played for a couple of years but had a stint coaching Riverina Lions earlier this year.
“It’s good to get them and they’ll help add some depth to our list,” Campbell said.
“Deano is going to do some pre-season stuff for us and help with fitness during the year. He’s looking to get into coaching down the track so that will be good for him and help me as well.”
The three recruits are timely additions for Tigers, who have lost about 10 players from this year’s squad that finished in sixth spot.
Tigers will resume pre-season training at the end of January and already have a pre-season trial lined up against Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes for April.
Tigers have the opening round bye and commence their season against Turvey Park on April 28.