Wangaratta has landed another hammer blow in the off-season by securing the services of Ryan Luty.
The classy attacking player was hunted by several AWFA clubs, with the defending league and cup champions eventually prevailing.
Luty was sidelined with a hip complaint for the majority of the 2018 NPL 2 season following his return to the region to play for Murray United after eight years in Canberra.
The 29-year-old managed 13 senior appearances last season, but has had one of his best pre-seasons yet, and following the withdrawal of Murray from senior competition this year, is set to take the AWFA by storm.
Luty played for St Pats and Albury United and was a rising star of the competition before he moved away.
ALSO IN SPORT:
"There's a few other boys from Murray there like Zac Walker and we get on quite well and a couple of younger boys in Jordy Hore and Adam Jordan as well," Luty said.
"It was probably one of the squads where I know the majority of the lads after spending a decade outside of AWFA.
"I spoke to at least half the clubs who contacted me and I was training at (Albury) United for a while.
"I guess Wangaratta came in quite late and said they were interested. I went down for training on Tuesday and really enjoyed it.
"They've got a lot of support and great facilities and it's a really competitive environment, which is something I value quite highly."
Luty believes his body is feeling as good as it has for some time.
"Hopefully I'm due for a little bit of luck as far as that's concerned, but things are tracking quite well," he said.
"I probably haven't quite got as much match fitness as I would have liked, I've only played two practice matches in the off-season, but as far as training goes, I've been keeping quite fit and doing a bit."
Wangaratta coach Daniel Vasilevski said he was delighted to sign Luty.
"When I was at Murray (in 2018) he was injured most of the time, but when he started playing last season I saw him a couple of times down at La Trobe and he was very impressive," he said.
Vasilevski said he will likely play Luty in a role out wide as part of the front three alongside Walker and two-time AWFA Star Player Adam Burchell.
"He's egoless and he said to me 'I'm happy to play wherever you put me', which coming from a player that's played at a higher level is a great attitude," he said.
Wangaratta has also locked in a second visa player with another Englishman Jack Oldham arriving midweek.
"He's an attacker, he's got a great delivery on him, he can play out wide or in the middle as well," Vasilevski said.
"He adds some firepower to our already pretty strong attacking third and a lot of depth," Vasilevski said.