Recruits boost Lions’ hopes

MULWALA hopes a massive recruiting spree will help break its premiership drought.

The Lions have signed Whorouly star Kyle Archibald, Rennie trio Dean Bigger, Chase Strawhorn and Ben James, Yarrawonga’s Lucas Olson and Yarroweyah duo Keegan Oliver and Tom Van De Merwe.

The club’s losses include Lee James and Bodhi Butts (Tungamah) and Sean Johns (Wangaratta Magpies).

Former Pigeons big man Archibald is set to be a key piece in the jigsaw after a stellar season for Whorouly in the Ovens and King league.

The former Richmond rookie won the club’s best-and-fairest award and was one of its best in the grand final loss to North Wangaratta.

Mulwala coach Nic O’Bryan who played with Archibald at the Pigeons said he was excited to again be playing alongside the strongly built utility.

“He’ll be very good for us, he’ll add a bit of hardness and experience, O’Bryan said yesterday.

“I played with him for probably three years.

“We chased him last year and I think it came down to us and Whorouly and he had family connections over there.”

O’Bryan said Archibald could be used in several positions, but he wanted him around the football as much as possible.

“He’ll probably play on the ball for us,” he said.

“He’s got a great size and you can throw him anywhere.”

Strawhorn and Bigger also shape as key recruits after impressive seasons for Picola South East outfit Rennie.

Strawhorn booted more than 100 goals (111) for the second straight year, while former Pigeon Bigger featured in the best in half of his 18 matches for the Hoppers.

Mulwala finished second on the ladder last year but lost the preliminary final to Finley and O’Bryan yesterday made no secret of the club’s wish to win its first flag since 1990.

“We are probably hoping to make a grand final; each year we try to improve,” he said.

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