BILLABONG Crows aspirations of climbing the Hume league ladder have risen with the signing of Narrandera premiership captain Wes Kiley.
Kiley was instrumental in leading Narrandera to its drought-breaking flag against Collingullie-Ashmont-Kapooka last season and has opted to follow newly appointed coach and premiership teammate Brett Powell to the Crows.
The tough and uncompromising midfielder, who was also a premiership player with Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong, has signed on as assistant coach.
In a further boost the Crows have also signed Alastair Austin from VAFA club University Blues.
Austin is a former Oaklands junior and is expected to slot in as a key defender.
The Crows finished 11th last season with a
4-14 record but Crows president Ted Brooks believes the club is poised to claim its inaugural finals berth since joining the Hume league in 2008.
“We targeted a coach and assistant coach who know the standard required to be successful,” Brooks said.
“Both Brett and Wes fit that bill and have leadership qualities which is important with such a young group.
“We have been able to retain the majority of our list so I can’t see any reason why we won’t improve.
“We are also quietly confident of landing another couple of handy recruits in the next few weeks.”
The Crows have kept off-season departures to a minimum with Josh Evans and Matt Toohey the most notable departures.
Midfielder Will Holman will also make a welcome return after missing last season after undergoing a knee reconstruction.
The club is also expected to benefit from the development of Mark Beale, Matt Anderson and Tim Smith who were exposed to senior football for the first time last season.