EXCITEMENT is building at Apollo Bay with the football club announcing six new recruits to join the coastal club.
And new Hawks co-coach Craig Rippon said the club was likely to announce more signings in coming weeks.
Tough onballer Adrian “Chucky” Hann, who helped lead the Hawks to finals in 2013, has returned to the club after a stint at Belmont, and brought his good mate and former Fitzroy Stars player Reece Walsh.
Former Apollo Bay juniors and ex-Geelong Falcons Jake and Josh Cooper will also line up for the Hawks next year.
Josh, a strongly-built utility, spent a season with Southport Sharks in the NEAFL while key tall Jake had a year off in 2015.
“Josh played six or seven games with the Gold Coast Suns’ reserves side last year while he played with Southport which would have been really good for his development,” Rippon said.
“Chucky Hann is back, I gave him a call because I thought we needed a bit of pace and hardness around the footy with all our young kids coming through,” he said.
“He and Josh will give us a few more onball options,” he said.
Wingman-defender Chris Bradshaw has also returned to the coastal club, having last played for the Hawks in 2012.
He joined Geelong district club Geelong West in 2013 and won the club’s best-and-fairest award before having a year off football this year.
“He’s a new school teacher at the Apollo Bay school, he spent a couple of years with the North Ballarat Rebels and won a Central Highlands premiership with Bungaree,” he said.
“He’s a big kid and he’s looking like he’ll be a handy inclusion for us.”
But despite the inclusions, Rippon said the club would also devote time to developing the club’s young stars like Tristan Smith, Ezrah Robertson, Dustin Walters and John Tucker.
The Hawks’ under-17.5 team played in the grand final this year.
“There’s a bit of excitement around, a little bit of talk and enthusiasm, which has been good,” Rippon said.
“We’re lucky enough that we haven’t lost anyone apart from Dean Scheetz to Irrewarra-Beeac, and we’ve got some really good young players coming through as well,” he said.
Apollo Bay finished ninth in 2015 after an injury-riddled season.