Lavington has signed young Wagga Tigers key defender Hamish Gilmore.
He was also part of the GWS Giants Academy.
Gilmore is the Panthers' first key signing since they snared Adam Schneider as coach last month is one of the biggest coup's of the off-season.
Schneider said Gilmore was coming off a breakout season after being named at full back in the Riverina League Team of the Year.
"It's great to get Hamish on board," Schneider said.
"Hamish made the Riverina Team of the Year which is a great achievement.
"His athleticism is one of his biggest assets. He is a good size for his age and is extremely keen to learn.
"I've kept a close eye on Hamish and his development because of his involvement with the GWS Giants Academy.
"Hamish wants to play at the highest standard possible and is looking forward to testing himself in the O&M."
Gilmore's arrival is welcome news at Lavington Sportsground after the confirmed departure of several premiership stars.
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The loss of Simon Curtis (Myrtleford), Aidan Johnson (Werribee) and Nick Meredith (work commitments) robs the Panthers of three of their biggest names.
Andrew Mackinlay, Nico Sedgwick and Kris Holman have also headed bush.
Adam Flagg is also likely to end up in the bush after being heavily targeted by district league clubs.
Schneider conceded the Panthers were behind the eight ball in terms of recruiting after he was the last coach to be appointed.
But the 2005 premiership Swan said he was confident of announcing a further two signings, hopefully before Christmas.
"We are in negotiations with a few potential recruits at the moment and the signs are promising," he said.
"But in saying that, we are fairly happy with the list we have got at the moment.
"We are looking forward to a lot of the young guys stepping up and cementing their spot in the side.
"I started late as far as recruiting is concerned and missed out on a couple of signings because they had committed to other clubs.
Schneider said he will have no hesitation in promoting the kids this season.
"We have still got a solid core group led by Luke Garland," he said.
"The opportunities for the kids will be there if the deserve it and earn it.
"If a guy puts his hand up, age doesn't matter to me.
"What matters is how they apply themselves to training and how they are going in games."
Schneider made the trek from Sydney last month to take training.
He will also take training on Thursday in the Panthers final hit-out before the Christmas break.
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