Lakers convince CHFL and MCDFL players to take on BFL challenge

SWITCH: Caleb Hepworth, pictured, and his brother Simon from Creswick CHFL are among recruits for Lake Wendouree

SWITCH: Caleb Hepworth, pictured, and his brother Simon from Creswick CHFL are among recruits for Lake Wendouree

Lake Wendouree has signed a quartet of Central Highlands and Maryborough Castlemaine District football league players to bolster its stocks.

Creswick brothers Caleb and Simon Hepworth, and Navarre duo Josh Fowkes and Josh Driscoll are joining Lakers.

First-year coach Dale Power said all four were looking to challenge themselves at the next level.

He said it was a big call for players to leave clubs where they had spent all their junior and senior football careers.

“There’s an opportunity there and they’re keen to take it.”

The Hepworths have been prominent contributors for the Wickers, with each having been in CHFL representative squads.

Power said Caleb, the younger of the brothers at 26, would provide plenty of versatility being able to play as a tall, or inside or outside midfielder.

He said Simon had not played a lot over the past few years after spending time overseas, but as an outside midfielder would add depth to the list.

Fowkes arrives after being a key figure for a dominant Navarre in the MCDFL.

The 21-year-old won the 2016 MCDFL best and fairest in a year when played in a fourth consecutive senior premiership team.

He began his senior career as a youngster in 2013 after being part of an under-17.5 premiership.

Power said the multiple MCDFL inter-league representative would have the ability to fill a key position or ruck role.

Fowkes has not only caught the eye of Lake Wendouree.

Geelong issued an invitation to Fowkes to be part of its VFL summer training squad.

Driscoll, who is a 100-plus game veteran at Navarre, moves to the Lakers in a dual role.

The personal trainer has been appointed the fitness co-ordinator.

The Hepworths, Fowkes and Driscoll join former North Ballarat Roosters Bailey Edwards and Lane Buckwell and key signings.

Edwards and Buckwell each had Lake Wendouree as his home club last season, but only Edwards saw any time (two games) in the Ballarat Football League.

Josh Fowkes

Josh Fowkes

Edwards has committed to Lakers on a full-time basis, while Buckwell retains Lakers as his home club after signing with Williamstown in the VFL. He is in rehabilitation after a knee reconstruction.

Lake Wendouree’s major losses ahead of the resumption of pre-season training include Nick Peter, Ben Hayes, Lucas Anderson and Nathan Monk.