Three Irvin brothers will join the Two Blues next year, along with the Riverina League reserve grade league medallist, in what shapes as a major strategic development for the Farrer League club.
Barellan will be home to former Griffith ruckman Riley Irvin and his younger brothers Mitch and Lucas, as well as the Swans' standout winner of the seconds award, Dean Schmetzer.
Two Blues coach Alex Lawder was thrilled to confirm the news that the sons of Brian Irvin will be playing for Barellan.
"They're coming home. There's a strong family connection. Their old man won a number of premierships with Barellan back in the day," Lawder said.
"So they are local boys, they live close and that was one of the things, to try to bring them back to their home club."
Riley played a full senior season with Griffith in 2018 as a young ruckman, including the grand final, before moving away in 2019 and then returning in 2021.
Mitch is a silky skilled back-flanker who's had two full seasons of seniors, including the 2019 finals series with Griffith.
Lucas is a ruckman-in-the-making who is looking to start out on his senior football career.
"In my discussions with them, they don't want to just come and make up the numbers. They want to come and make an impact, help the club improve and push towards some success," Lawder said.
"That's what excites me the most, they're very driven and they want to succeed and bring others along with them."
Schmetzer, 21, is a critical addition. He played a handful of seniors games in 2019 and was then best-on-ground in Griffith's second grade flag after racking up the touches.
The midfielder backed it up with a consistent 2021, claiming a runaway victory in the league medal (by 18 votes) and has been a near-permanent fixture in Griffith's best whenever he played under 17.5s or reserves games since 2016.
"Having Canberra recruits, as amazing as they've been, we really wanted to get some local recruits who can help with training numbers and training standards that will flow into our game as well," Lawder said.
"Dean's an inside midfielder and elite runner who'll add depth to our midfield. We want to build depth on all of our lines. It's good. It's very positive."
Lawder is heading into his second season as coach. The club's week-in-week-out competitveness has come a long way in recent seasons but the coach wants to see Barellan climb well above their three wins of last year.
A series of key local signings is a major development having lifted their intensity through travelling recruits in the last few years.
"Recruiting can be tedious and hard work so it's nice to get some reward. And it shows positive signs that people want to come to Barellan as well," Lawder said.
Barellan's 2022 season will kick off at home to The Rock-Yerong Creek on April 2. They're at Coleambally in round two and at home to CSU Bushpigs after the general bye for Easter.
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