ECHUCA’S effort to bolster its list has started with the capture of former Essendon VFL talent Matt Dornauf.
The Murray Bombers also announced Nick Sheldon will join the club for the 2018 season as they look to progress up the ladder and into finals.
New co-coach Simon Maddox said the moves showed the club was building depth in areas letting them down in previous seasons.
‘‘Matt Dornauf has VFL experience with Essendon, he’s a strong-bodied midfielder and that’s one area we felt we needed a little bit of support to compete with the best midfields and their mature bodies,’’ he said.
‘‘Obviously we’ve got Simon Buckley in there, but then it’s young guys and some blokes going through the midfielders that aren’t necessarily mids.
‘‘(Dornauf) has got a very good football resume and we’ll look to him to lead. Nick Sheldon is very much the same. he’s a midfielder as well with experience in Melbourne.’’
The pair join Maddox’s co-coach Andrew Walker as huge inclusions, the former Carlton superstar able to make an impact at any position of need.
‘‘At the moment he’ll play whatever role is best for the team in his role as coach,’’ Maddox said.
‘‘If we’ve got midfield depth he would be fantastic at either end. He’s kicked goals for Carlton and done well and half back, and we know how good a mark he is.
‘‘He can plug a hole wherever which is great for the footy club and a bit of a luxury really.’’
Maddox said the majority of the list had re-committed, with many young stars around the Echuca area looking to step up to the Goulburn Valley League level.
A handful of TAC Cup talents can challenge a side’s depth, but Maddox said it was the type of challenge a successful club wants to deal with.
‘‘One thing Andrew and I have spoken about is developing players to play the best they can,’’ he said.
‘‘Whether or not that’s TAC Cup, VFL or AFL, we want them following Ollie Wines and Andrew’s footsteps. We wouldn’t begrudge any kid that opportunity to play TAC Cup, but when four or five of your best 21 are missing every week, it can be frustrating.
‘‘But we’re going to pride ourselves on that, and hopefully have a stack more in the side this season.’’