THE Hampden football league season may be four months away, but an air of excitement has gripped Port Fairy.
The club last night rolled out the welcome mat for new coach Sam Rudolph, who was in town to take training for the first time.
Rudolph comes to the Seagulls with an impressive football background, having served as vice-captain of Glenelg in the SANFL this season and finishing runner-up in the club's best-and-fairest. The key defender is in Port Fairy for the next two weeks and will move to the town permanently at the start of the new year.
Rudolph said he was keen to get among his players and get a feel for the club.
"Over the next fortnight I will be looking to start forming some good relationships within the club and getting to know the players," Rudolph said. "It will be a good chance to map out the plans I have for the year ahead and get some feedback on that."
While Rudolph will be a huge boost to the Seagulls' playing stocks, the club will be looking to add even more recruits after a winless 2012.
No new names have yet been confirmed as having signed for the Seagulls , but Rudolph hopes that will change over the pre-season.
"The club is talking to some potential recruits and over the next two weeks I will be as active as I can in recruiting," he said.
"Being here in Port Fairy, it has sunk in a bit more that I am coaching and I'm pretty excited about it."
The easygoing lifestyle of Port Fairy has had an immediate impact on Rudolph, his wife Bianca and 19-month-old son Felix.
After living in Adelaide for the past six years, the change of pace has already been noticeable for the young family.
"We love it. Everywhere we need to go we can walk to, which is really nice. We are looking forward to coming here full time," Rudolph said.