Coolamon have added size to their list with the signing of Farrer League representative ruckman Anthony Atkin.
The Hoppers have secured Atkin from Temora, while they have also welcomed back five players from Northern Jets.
Sam Robinson, Zac Bradley, Luke McLoughlin, Hayden Leary and Isaac Pattison will all be back at Kindra Park next season.
The signing of Atkin is a big one for the Hoppers, on the back of former AFL player Jake Barrett’s arrival at the club.
Coolamon coaching coordinator Mitch Robinson was thrilled to get Atkin on board.
“He’ll be really good for us,” Robinson said.
“Obviously we’ve been really lucky to have Ben Edyvean in the ruck for a good, I don’t know how many years and while he’s still running around, he can’t run out games like he used to so to have (Atkin) come across will be really good.
“Especially with the midfield it looks like we’ll be shaping up with, we want to make sure we’re giving them first use of the ball.
“It will also give us the opportunity to send one forward and rest in a pocket, which might stretch a few sides as well.”
Atkin played 47 games for Temora since arriving in 2016 from the Black Diamond League.
The 28-year-old represented the Farrer League this year and has also represented Black Diamond in the past.
Robinson believes Atkin’s ruckwork will be appreciated by the Hoppers midfielders.
“That’s a big strength of his. Obviously having played against him and watched him while coaching against him, he’s hard to match up on,” he said.
“He covers the ground well.
“That’s the other thing. He’s really looking forward to the challenge in the RFL. He played in the rep game this year and got to see what the RFL had and is looking forward to the step up.”
It has been a busy off-season at Kindra Park.
But they have welcomed Jake Barrett straight from Brisbane Lions, added Atkin from Temora, Shannon Charlie from Northern Jets and welcomed back important depth in Robinson, Bradley, McLoughlin, Leary and Pattison.
“It will put pressure on spots,” Robinson said.
“A couple of those guys had played 50 games at Coolamon, plus the games they’ve played at Jets so they’re pretty experienced players. With such a young group, that experience will be really important.”
Coolamon had 45 on the track this week but will resume in late January.