NEW East Wagga-Kooringal coach Jake Barrett could not be happier with his early recruitment.
The Hawks landed the biggest coup of the AFL Riverina off-season to date when they announced the signings of Jerry Maslin, Dylan Morton, Luke Gerhard and Jeremy Piercy this week.
That was on top of the club having already lured Barrett, a former AFL player, across from Coolamon as their new coach.
Barrett lauded the professionalism at the Hawks in being able to land their target recruits swiftly.
"I think the way we've gone about it, East Wagga have been very professional," Barrett said.
"It's a credit to have the boys re-sign so early and back the club in, it made these conversations a lot easier.
"Having a clear direction in what the club wants to achieve, it's been really easy conversations with these people, which is good.
"We want to lead by our actions and that's definitely something we're doing at the moment."
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Barrett was pleased to have the support of Gerhard and Maslin in following him across from Coolamon.
Gerhard will be assistant coach at EWK, while Maslin, the 2021 Jim Quinn Medallist, shapes as one of the most dangerous players in the competition.
"To have Luke Gerhard as my assistant next year is huge," Barrett said.
"He's obviously got a lot of respect around the league and just in terms of the way he goes about it.
"He's still got plenty of good footy in front of him I reckon but it's what he brings off the field with his leadership that I know the boys will really love.
"The likes of Jerry Maslin, he's a quality player that can play anywhere.
"It's big, him coming along, it was probably an easier one, being family, he's my brother-in-law but to have a Jim Quinn Medallist come over as well is huge. It's really good.
"He's another bloke that what he gives you off the field, the way he trains is exactly the standards you want to bring to the club."
The Hawks also managed to beat numerous clubs from across the region to sign former Wagga Tigers assistant coach Dylan Morton.
Barrett was thrilled to get him to the club.
"Probably one of our bigger recruits is Dyl Morton coming along. For me, it's massive," he said.
"Once again, it's not so much what he's going to do on the field, it's just another quality bloke and I think everyone knows how much work he did at Tigers while he was there.
"To get him along and have him part of what we're trying to achieve will be huge.
"I just remember my first year back in the league, he just stood out, he was a head above everyone else.
"In terms of backline players and half-backs, I don't think you'll get a better player than Dyl Morton in the Riverina.
"To get someone like him to come along as well, it's huge for the club."
Barrett also has a lot of time for Jeremy Piercy, who finished runner up in the Gerald Clear Medal in 2022 before one season at Wagga Tigers, where he was named the club's best first year player.
"Obviously Jezza Piercy coming back is another big in," he said.
"Unfortunately I didn't get to play a lot of games this year so I got to see a lot of players and I thought Jezza Piercy was one of the better players this year for Wagga Tigers. Both times we played them he was fantastic and actually very damaging at times.
"I know he played off half-back the second time we played him and the way he went about it, he was very damaging, he read the ball really well and had a lot of intercept grabs and hurt us on the other end, which is really good to see.
"So someone like him coming back, we're probably expecting someone like him to play more midfield than half-back and up forward as well because that's where I really want him and it was the conversations we had. He'll be fantastic as well."
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