PORT Fairy has won the race for Leopold premiership midfielder Matt Pitt.
The firefighter, who has moved to the south-west for work, signed with the Hampden league club on Wednesday night.
A number of the Seagulls’ rivals had shown interest in Pitt, eager to add an accomplished ball winner to their ranks.
First-year coach Daniel Nicholson said Pitt was the ideal addition to a list chasing back-to-back grand final appearances.
Nicholson said Port Fairy’s position - it is striving for its first Hampden league flag in 60 years and just second overall - enticed Pitt to Gardens Oval.
“One thing he put to us was he won Leopold’s first flag for them in the GFL and he said the feeling around the club and the excitement everyone got from it was over the top,” he said.
“He said ‘you guys haven’t won one for a very long time and I’m tipping it would be pretty similar, having people crying and the town would shut down’.
“Just the challenge of being part of something like that was a major contributor in him signing.”
Nicholson said former Leopold captain Pitt would add a strong body to the Seagulls’ midfield rotations.
“I think one of the areas we got let down last year was through the midfield,” he said.
“We were missing that quality depth through the midfield, so he’s certainly one who will add another string to our bow.
“I played with him 10 years ago at (Ballarat league club) Redan. He is a really genuine person and can obviously play footy as well so it’s a really good get for the club.”
Pitt has signed a one-year deal and will be a four-point player.
The Geelong league star joins former South Warrnambool wingman-forward Mar Gattek as off-season additions at Gardens Oval.
The athletic Gattek arrives with TAC Cup experience, having spent two seasons at Greater Western Victoria Rebels.