OLD Collegians have bolstered their playing stocks, adding three Koroit footballers as they strive to improve on their 2013 Warrnambool and District league wooden spoon.
Former Warriors midfielder Eli Barker has returned to Davidson Oval after a season at the Hampden league Saints, bringing with him versatile tall Chris Chambers and swingman James Mugavin.
The trio bring Old Collegians’ off-season recruits to 11, following the additions of Tim Annett, James Martelloni, Stephen Whythe, Justin Lynch, James Ryan, Aaron Williams, Darren Lloyd and coach Daryl Beechey, who signed in September.
Beechey said the Warriors’ latest signings added to their versatility.
“Chris Chambers is a forward and can change in the ruck, James Mugavin can play forward or back and Eli Barker is a good onballer and that’s where he’ll be utilised most,” he said.
Chambers, who played three senior matches for eventual grand finalist Koroit last season, will join Annett in a new-look Warriors’ forward line.
Chambers booted 43 goals for the Saints’ reserves side in 2013, while Annett has kicked 97 goals in the past two seasons, including 77 for Westerns in 2012 when the Kangaroos made the South West District league grand final.
“Chris is a big size, for starters,” Beechey said.
“He will lead up at it or be a long option if the kick is coming in long.”
Beechey, a former Cobden onballer, said the Warriors had added much-needed depth to their midfield which would help their forwards.
He said Barker played seven senior games for the Saints under respected coach Adam Dowie.
Barker was a strong contributor to the Saints’ reserves side, playing 17 matches.
Beechey said Old Collegians were excited to have another former player return.
“No doubt his footy would have developed and matured a bit more and I am looking forward to him coming back and being a better player,” he said.
“Playing a higher standard, he would have challenged himself a bit more.”