KOROIT premiership coach Chris McLaren is singing recruit Jyron Neave's praises after the creative footballer arrived at training off his own bat.
The Merrivale small forward-midfielder has joined the six-time Hampden league reigning premier from Warrnambool and District league club Merrivale for the 2020 season.
McLaren said Neave, who kicked 36 goals from 18 games last year, had impressed with his initiative and willingness to test himself at a higher level.
"To his credit - it would be great if more people had this attitude - but he just came to training," he said.
"I didn't actually speak to him in the off-season, he just came and said he wanted to have a go.
"He said 'I'll try and if it doesn't work out, I'll go back to Merrivale'.
"For a young district league player to have that attitude and say 'I am going to give it a go' (was great).
"He picked Koroit because there's a few Merrivale connections as well but it's very pleasing he'd just come out off his own bat and do that."
McLaren said Neave's versatility and zip appealed to the Saints' hierarchy.
"Because of his pace he'll play different roles, small forward and and onball normally," he said.
"He's very elusive so I think he will be a very important player for us.
"With (Jarrod) Korewha, (Sam) Dobson, (Will) Couch plus our ruckmen that go there, we have plenty of height so to get a different type of player - he's really nippy and aggressive at the ball and the man with the ball - (is a coup)."
Koroit has also welcomed Blake Carroll (Port Fairy) and Andrew Walker (De La Salle) to Victoria Park for season 2020.
McLaren said a strong friendship circle enticed Carroll to cross from the Seagulls.
"Blake is a quite a strong inside mid. He was a really good junior player but hasn't played a heap of footy in the last couple of years but has been really impressive in the summer," he said.
Walker arrives with a strong football pedigree but will be a late starter due to injury.
McLaren hopes the 190-centimetre midfielder, who "just fell in our lap", will add a new dynamic when he debuts.
"Andrew has just moved down from Melbourne. He played in a premiership with the Oakleigh Chargers in the TAC Cup about four years ago," he said.
"He's been playing amateurs since. He'll be back around mid-season. He did his knee last round of 2018 so he didn't play last year."
McLaren said Walker met a Saints player in his new job which was what encouraged him to join the club.
"Lachie Cairns, who moved down from Melbourne last year, works on a farm and Andrew is doing the same thing," he said. "He got the job and said 'I'll play footy' and Lachie said 'I'll take you to training'."
Koroit has lost premiership teenager Connor Hinkley, who has moved to Melbourne for university, to Eastern league club Blackburn.
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