Bears add height, depth

Daniel Hovey (Supplied)

Tara Murray

Burnside Heights has added height and depth as it aims to get back into the Essendon District Football League division 2 top four.

The Bears’ best was competitive last season, but injuries late in the season put pay to a second straight top four berth.

While the Bears have been quiet on social media with their new signings, the club was one of the busiest when clearances opened on February 1.

Daniel Hovey, who kicked 100 goals for the Suns in the Western Region Football League division 3 competition headlines the recruits.

Lachlan Evans, who won the Northern Football League division 3 best and fairest award, is another that is set to have a big impact.

Brandon Brunalli, Ryhan Thomas, Brock Goldsworhty, Jaydon Stiles, Andrej Krunic and Nicholas Cugliari are others who have put in clearances.

Bears coach Cole Harvey said they had been pretty active since they knew they wouldn’t play finals.

“Obviously we needed some fire power up forward,” he said. “We were able to find avenues to goal but we were able to put it on the scoreboard.

“Daniel came up and watched some of our games when he had byes. He will give us a focal point up front.

“He is a good get, he’s been a good player for a long time.”

Harvey said Evans would provide them with plenty of flexibility being able to play in the middle and up forward and expects him to be good for them.

Nick Gregson is another one that will come across and be a marking forward, while Styles has kicked more than 800 goals in his career.

Harvey said after struggling for height last season, they would be a lot taller this year.

“We’ll have seven or eight players over 195 centimetres,” he said. “We felt like our system was OK.

“We have picked up 14-15 new recruits to bring into our system.”

Harvey said the other key for them was depth. He said for a club of their size, the minute they got injuries they couldn’t match it with the top sides.

He said there were a number of younger players who had limited opportunity last season that would be pushing for senior selection as well.

“We had injuries towards the end of last season and we fell away quickly. Against Coburg Districts we played four 16-18 year olds and managed to win the game.

The numbers have been strong and we’ve got a couple of match stimulation against better opposition and then practice matches.

“I can’t wait.”

The Bears kick off their season on April 12.