Bacchus Marsh is looking to a couple of VFL young guns to help it bridge the gap to reigning premier Darley in the Ballarat Football League next year.
Williamstown duo Jake Owen and Jacob Chisari are the first major signings for the Cobras.
They have also picked up Chisari’s younger brother Matthew from Avondale Heights in the Essendon District Football League.
Owen, 22, and Jacob Chisari, 22, each had notable TAC Cup under-18 careers with best and fairest awards and selection in TAC Cup teams of the year – honours which had them touted as AFL draft candidates.
Bacchus Marsh coach Travis Hodgson said all three offered quality and versatility.
He believes a lack of versatility was a contributing factor the Cobras falling short to Darley in the grand final.
He said although Owen had primarily been recruited as a centre half forward, he had the capability of also playing at centre half back or on ball.
Jacob Chisari will provide on-ball and midfield mobility, while Matt Chisari will give options for across half back and half forward.
Their arrival will help offset the loss of ruckman and tall forward Dean Heta, who is moving to Albury, and onballer Matt Denham to Melton.
Owen is originally from Woodend and moves after 33 senior games in four years with Seagulls after winning the Calder Cannons best and fairest, representing Vic Metro under-18s and being named in the TAC Cup team of the year in 2013 – the same season he made his VFL debut.
He also attended the state AFL combine in the lead-up to the national draft in that year, and again the next season, which was his first at Williamstown.
Owen took out the Seagulls’ AFL Development League best and fairest in the season just gone.
From South Mildura, the Chisaris each played with Bendigo Pioneers in the TAC Cup, with Jacob a two-time best and fairest.
He had a stand-out year in 2013, when he was in a four-way tie for the TAC Cup’s best and fairest, the Morrish Medal.
He was also named in the TAC Cup team of the year and made his VFL debut with Bendigo Gold.
Jacob Chisari has been at Williamstown three seasons, in which played 18 VFL games, including seven this year.
Matthew Chisari moved from the Pioneers to South Bendigo in the Bendigo league for one season before lining up with Avondale Heights this year.