WODONGA Raiders midfielder Luke Schilg has signed as assistant coach with home club Brock-Burrum.
In a huge boost to the Saints’ premiership credentials, Schilg returns to the club after spending the past two seasons with Wodonga Raiders.
Saints coach Darryn McKimmie, who recently re-signed for a third year at the helm, was pleased to secure Schilg’s signature.
“He will be huge for us,” McKimmie said.
“We’re rapt to have him locked in early.
“Having him on board early gives us confidence and it will hopefully play a part in our ability to attract further recruits.
“It has always been tough for him juggling his work with the training commitments required to play Ovens and Murray.
“Plus I think he feels the time is right to come back to his home club and be an influence in continuing to build the club towards some success.”
Schilg will form part of a potent midfield division comprising McKimmie, Joe and Chris Boulton and Azzi medallist Trent Storey.
The former Murray Bushranger finished runner-up behind Storey in the 2010 Azzi Medal and capped a stellar season after winning the Saints best and fairest ahead of Brett Guest and Storey.
Schilg has also had previous stints at Lavington, where he played alongside McKimmie, and AFL Queensland club Noosa.
In another boost the club has re-signed Storey and Dean Murphy.
Murphy took out his third Saints best and fairest ahead of Storey and McKimmie.
After losing to Howlong in the first week of the finals, McKimmie was confident the Saints would retain the majority of their list, with a couple of key position players recruiting priorities.
“The best part is we have got 85 to 90 per cent of our current list already recommitted,” he said.
“So with the development of our younger guys and the hopeful recruitment of a couple of key players, I’m confident we can take another step forward.”