Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes have continued their strong recruitment drive with two more signings from AFL Canberra.
The Goannas have secured the services of ruckman Blake Chapman and utility Jacob Taylor from Belconnen.
Chapman has attracted interest from state league clubs and can either play in the ruck or at centre-half-back.
Taylor spent last season in second grade but is a former AFL Canberra representative player that can play a variety of roles.
New MCUE coach Jeremy Rowe believes both players will be valuable additions to the Goannas’ list.
“Blake only started playing footy three years ago but his development has been quite exceptional,” Rowe said.
“He’s one of those ruckmen that competes and follows up his work. As a defender, he’s different to most others because he’s so long. At no point is he ever out of the contest because he’s so long.
“Jacob is a true utility that has played most of his footy on a wing or at half-forward, then he’s played a little bit across half-back in recent times and can also be used in short spurts in the midfield.
“He’s a noted goalkicker...and when he’s up and going he’s fast and very hard at it. He also kicks the footy very well.
“We’re really happy with the flexibility that these guys offer as well. It means that other key backs and rucks can rest forward or play more of a minor role if need be.”
The signings of Chapman and Taylor come on the back of last week’s announcement of Dom Bunyan and Tim Smith coming on board.
In another significant boost for the Goannas, captain Ryan Price has re-signed with the club.
Price attracted significant interest from a number of rival clubs but has stuck solid with MCUE.
“It’s a massive statement that he’s made without really intending on it. When your captain re-signs it goes to show that he thinks the club is headed in the right direction,” Rowe said.
MCUE will hold two Saturday morning training sessions before Christmas before pre-season officially kicks off on January 22.
“We’ll be doing two Saturday morning sessions on the 8th and 15th before full scale pre-season commences on January 22,” Rowe said.
“It’s quite tactical in that I want to get everyone together before the break to continue with the excitement that is happening. I’m also mindful about wanting us to be hitting our straps at the right time of year.”
Rowe will move home to Wagga in January in time for pre-season.
MCUE is still working on a couple of important re-signings, while continuing talks with a handful of prospective recruits.