LOCKHART have reacted swiftly to the departure of big man Zac Sheather, signing Queanbeyan ruckman Neil Irwin.
Demons coach, Nathan McPherson, said finding a suitable replacement for Sheather was a recruiting priority.
Sheather has made the trek from Canberra each week for the past three season’s.
“Obviously losing Zac was a blow and trying to recruit a decent ruckman is a tough gig,” McPherson said.
“Thankfully we were able to land Neil.
“I played against him a few years ago when he was at Leeton-Whitton.
“I think he is 38 now but he keeps himself in good nick.
“He has obviously played at a higher standard of football in the Canberra competition and his experience will be invaluable.”
Lockhart managed three wins last year and will rely heavily on the improvement of its younger players as the Demons look to climb the ladder.
“We will be a pretty young team again, with an average age of around 23,” McPherson said.
“With myself coaching from the sidelines, Neil will also be an asset with his on-field leadership.
“He is fairly vocal on the field and will help give the young kids a bit of direction.”
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Irwin originally retired last year but made a mid-season comeback to honour his teammate Ray Daniel who died after a heart attack.
He also played in Leeton-Whitton’s flag in 2017.
The Demons have also lured Jesse Margosis back to the club.
Margosis won Marrar’s best and fairest last season.
“Jesse is our biggest signing but we have been able to lure half-a-dozen locals back to the club as well which will significantly improve our depth,” he said.
“We have also got Patrick Maher from Mangoplah who had last season off.
Apart from Sheather, the Demons have also lost co-coach Jordan Harrington who has relocated to Adelaide.
Midfielder Jamie Clough has also returned to Canberra.
McPherson led the Demons into their last finals appearance in 2008 and 2009 and replace co-coaches Jake Phillips and Harrington.
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