Melrose means business.
The AWFA club has sent a message to rest of the competition, signing former Victorian Premier League (VPL) stars Trent Rixon and Frank Lagana.
Trent reunites with his brother, Kade, at his home club, after 13 years terrorising defences in Melbourne.
The pair last played together in the losing Lavington Panthers outfit in the 2004 cup final, after claiming the league that season, but are hungrier than ever to win their first AWFA cup.
Shepparton product Lagana, a dangerous midfielder, has played at several clubs in Victoria during his decorated career including Oakleigh Cannons and Melbourne Knights, before returning to his home town in 2014 for the Goulburn Valley Suns’ inaugural year in NPL 2.
Kade admitted he was close to luring Trent back to Melrose Park only two years ago.
“I think I told all the boys that pre-season he was coming back,” he laughed.
“Obviously last year he found his touch again and to be honest he should be down there playing again, but I’m not going to complain that he wants to come home and finish up here.”
Trent, a classy striker, ended his time in Melbourne on a high last year as Morleand City’s best and fairest and the NPL 2 west’s leading goal-scorer, capping off an outstanding career which included stints at Northcote and South Melbourne.
He also claimed the VPL Golden Boot in 2010.
“With Kade coaching, I thought the time was right to finish down at Melbourne and have a run here,” Trent said.
“I’ll still be based in Melbourne, but without playing football down there, I’ll spend at least 12 or 13 weeks here a year and play in those games.
“Last time I was here we won the league and lost the grand final, so I’ve always had that in the back of mind to come back and win one.”
Trent feels he and Lagana, both 32, still have plenty to offer on the park, particularly on the leadership front.
“I’ve known Frank for years, I played against him a fair bit when he was at Oakleigh and he’s little hard nut,” Trent said.
“He’ll add a heap to list as well with a bit of leadership and professionalism.”