HAMPDEN league grand finalist Cobden has reinforced its fresh-faced playing list with two promising young footballers.
Timboon Demons ruckman Marcus Hickey and teenage Colac onballer Brody Mahoney have committed to the Bombers for season 2013.
Hickey, 21, steps up to Hampden league football after forging his career at the Demons.
He won the club’s past two best and fairest awards — tying with Andrew Clements in 2012 — and earned selection in the 2012 Warrnambool and District league team of the year.
Mahoney, 18, played junior football with Colac and spent the past two seasons with Geelong Falcons.
But he was struck down by injuries during both campaigns, limiting him to just 21 matches with the TAC Cup club.
The recruits reaffirm the Bombers’ mantra of giving young footballers a chance to test themselves at major league level.
Coach Wayne Robertson oversaw a young list rally in the second half of the 2012 season to make the grand final.
The fairytale premiership failed to eventuate, but the result made the competition take notice.
Hickey said he always planned to “have a crack at a higher level before it’s too late”, and was keen to learn from Maskell medallist Levi Dare.
He revealed he was close to joining Cobden last season, but stayed put after his brother Brendan returned from Simpson to reunite with him and another brother, Sam.
“I had a breakout year the year before, and to back it up with another good year was good,” Hickey said.
“It’s not good having one good year and doing nothing the next year.” Hickey, who will play as a key forward and rotating ruckman, said Cobden would be an “exciting” club to play for.
“It’s just exciting the way the club looks at the moment, with how young they are and making the grand final this year. And they want to go on with bigger and better things and hopefully I can be a part of that.” Hickey said he was appreciative of the opportunities he received at Timboon Demons, and planned to return to the club down the track.
Mahoney said he joined Cobden wanting to regain his confidence after two frustrating years at the Falcons.
He battled a back complaint in 2011 which came good at the end of the season, and damaged a cartilage in his knee at training in April, just as he regained full fitness.
Microfracture surgery on the knee mid-year ended his campaign.
Mahoney said he wanted to test himself at VFL level, but needed to “get a few kicks” before making the step-up.
“I’ve got a few friends out at Cobden — Lincoln Dare, the whole Dare family and a lot of guys I’ve played football with through the squads,” he said.
“They’ve been getting into me the last year. I’ve heard it’s a really great club, I’ve had heaps of people say that.
“The more times I’ve met up with Cobden, the more I’m convinced they’re the right club.
“Nothing against Colac, I love Colac too, but I wanted a bit of a change, something different and to have a bit of fun with my footy and try and get a few kicks.”