PORTLAND has secured an integral piece of its midfield structure, with boom recruit Jake Dignan re-signing for the 2015 Hampden league season.
Dignan, 27, landed at the Tigers this year alongside well-credentialled onballers Luke Crane and Jake Myles.
That trio, along with captain Rhys Egan and Daniel Falcone, has provided the fourth-placed Tigers with a much-vaunted midfield.
Dignan said he was rapt to recommit to Portland and had settled in the south-west for the time being.
He and his partner Clara are expecting twins in December and already have a son, Harry, who is almost two.
“The club has been great and really helpful for me and my family and I am really looking forward to the rest of this year and next year,” Dignan said.
Dignan’s impact at Hanlon Park, he’s been named in the Tigers’ best in eight of his nine games, has proved telling.
But his debut season was almost cut short after he injured his finger in Hampden’s crushing interleague loss to Sunraysia in Wangaratta in May.
Dignan was expected to miss the remainder of the season but returned after two weeks to again feature among Portland’s most prolific ball winners.
“The diagnosis was pretty bad at the start but after a scan I had good news,” he said.
“It’s been fine. It feels pretty good.
“It’s just one of those things you have to manage properly and look after.”
Dignan said the Tigers, who celebrated back-to-back wins for the first time this season heading into this weekend’s bye, were well prepared for a finals push in the last seven weeks of the season.
“I think we are all on the same page now,” he said of the club’s new-look midfield.
“We’ve all gelled well as a side and our rotations are working well.
“We have a lot depth in the midfield, which a lot of other sides don’t.”
Dignan said Portland had an exciting list, with its next generation complementing the experienced players.
“I think Jake Edwards and Daniel Jackson are two future stars of the club for sure and are playing a big role this year in getting us to where we are and Jay Moody up forward,” he said.
“We rely heavily on him because we don’t have a key forward.”
Dignan grew up in Ballarat and represented TAC Cup side North Ballarat Rebels and VFL team North Ballarat Roosters.
The former Buninyong onballer also spent time playing in the Northern Territory before family lured him to the Hampden league.
He and his partner have relatives in south-west Victoria.