A HALF-FORWARD capable of drifting through midfield is the latest addition to South Warrnambool's recruiting juggernaut.
Hayden Mitchell, a premiership player at Northern Football League outfit Watsonia, has signed at Friendly Societies Park.
The 26-year-old, who also won a best and fairest at Watsonia, is the latest in a fruitful off-season for the Roosters.
The club won the race for ex-Adelaide and Hawthorn wingman Ricky Henderson this past week and landed former Gold Coast Sun Louis Herbert in August.
The trio complement the addition of former Bacchus Marsh captain Liam Mullen and returning talents James Hussey and Joe Dalton, who returned for 2020 but were unable to take the field due to COVID-19 forcing the cancellation of Hampden league action.
South Warrnambool president Steve Harris said it was pleasing players were electing to play football at the club.
"We're thrilled he's elected to join our club," Harris said.
"After a few years of hard work, we're getting players who are now putting South as the club they want to play for, which is pleasing.
"Particularly over the past two or three years, we've put in a lot of work on and off the field and we're now getting some top quality recruits."
Harris said despite the recruiting success, the Mat Battistello-coached Roosters remained grounded.
"We're very happy to have players coming on board but we know that doesn't guarantee overall success," he said.
"We know we have to put in that hard work and a champion team is always better than a team of champions.
"As enthusiastic and optimistic as we are, we're very grounded. We knew we needed a couple of experienced players to top up our existing young crop."
Harris said the club was pleased to have three ex-AFL players on its list - Henderson, Herbert and former St Kilda midfielder Josh Saunders - and hoped the trio could help the club step forward.
He said the club's emphasis on junior development and blooding youth to seniors meant it had the capacity to secure high-profile talents.
"It does help and we are a club that has a big emphasis on junior development. We know Auskick is the foundation of long-term success and we have 120 kids involved in our program, which is fantastic," Harris said.
"But we know with attrition rates you need to have at least 100 kids in your Auskick to eventually be able to field an under 18 side.
"With our kids, it's very pleasing. It's taken a lot of work off the field but we believe our culture has changed the past three years and we're a very attractive club for people to come to."
South Warrnambool finished fifth in its 2019 Hampden league campaign.
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