RETURNING Portland coach Jarrod Holt is eager to bolster the supporting cast around his emerging Tiger cubs.
The former playing-coach, who is taking up an off-field role for the first time this season, has sought older and experienced bodies to help guide his young side back up the ladder.
The Tigers have finished the past three seasons in ninth place and their most recent highest finish was a seventh back in 2016.
"What we have at the moment is some very good young players but we are just too young and light at the moment," Holt said of his side.
"We needed some mature bodies and a little bit of experience to help us out."
Portland has already secured the signatures of former Heywood key forward Dane Handreck and Joe Darker from Bellarine Football League club Modewarre.
Holt said the club have a few more possible recruits training with the squad that they are hopeful of signing in the near future.
The former Hamilton Kangaroo coach said Handreck would bring a lot to his developing side.
"Every side is better with a good target up forward and we have lacked that a little bit and having a strong guy in Dane to just attack the footy and be a bit of target for us and we can set up around him," he said.
"Dane seems really eager to learn and he is very coachable and gets on really well with all of the boys so he will fit in good.
"His footy the last couple of years has got better and better and like a lot of big guys his best footy is probably still in front of him so it's exciting to have him there."
Holt said his recruiting would centre around a few key areas he believes his side needs.
"We wouldn't mind another good midfielder maybe a stronger-bodied, mature midfielder just to help out those other guys," he said.
"There is another forward that we are trying to hopefully sign who is mid-sized but a really good goal-kicker and capable of kicking multiple goals, which is pretty valuable."
Holt said his group had adjusted well to an early pre-season start - the Tigers kicked off preparations for 2020 on November 11.
"We were going to do six weeks before Christmas, which I know is a bit out of fashion at the moment as people will start a bit later," he said.
"But I was conscious about being back at the club or if you have a new coach that there is a lot of changes that we were going to make with the coaching set up and trying to get players.
"We obviously need to improve and I wanted to get the players down their nice and early and sought some stuff out and get guys to commit early and do a good group of work before Christmas.
"Then we are going to take a good break and we are not going to come back until the end of January."
Holt said he and assistant coach Tim Chester had seen positive early signs that the playing group have put in the extra work away from the training track to prepare for a big season next year.
He said the main focuses of training at the moment was working on skills and continuing to build fitness.
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