Beaufort has landed two experienced recruits to give its premiership credentials a huge shot in the arm.
The Crows, beaten in last year’s Central Highlands Football League grand final by Hepburn, has confirmed past Geoff Taylor Medal winner Nick Sullivan and decorated VFL player Daniel Venditti have joined the club for the 2018 campaign.
Sullivan is well known in CHFL circles for his time spent with Daylesford and Waubra.
The in-and-under onballer won premierships at both clubs and added the league’s highest individual honour to his trophy cabinet with the Roos in 2013.
Sullivan played with Old Collegians in the Warrnambool and District competition last season, finishing second in the league best and fairest count.
While much is known about Sullivan in this region, less would be aware of Venditti.
The onballer is a three-time best and fairest winner with VFL club Coburg and shapes as a huge inclusion for the Crows.
Beaufort senior coach Rohan Brown told The Courier that Venditti had been secured through a connection with his friend and Crows player Jarrod McCorkell, who joined Beaufort last season.
“He played with Corks in the WAFL for Perth over there and then moved over here,” Brown said.
“He got an (job) opportunity over in London, he and his fiancé, so they moved over there at the start of 2016.
“He has got a job opportunity in Melbourne, so he’s coming back. I’m not sure exactly when he’ll be back, but all indications hopefully by half-way through the year.
“We have just got to wait and see when his job allows him to come back.”
Brown said it was a bit of a trend that the club was “topping up” with some experienced players.
He said the recruitment of Venditti had been popular news at the club.
“It’s huge for us and it has really given the boys a bit of a buzz,” Brown said.
“When I announced it to the boys, they were really up and about about it.”
Sullivan, who played with Redan before heading to Old Collegians, trained with Beaufort last season and will serve as an assistant coach to Brown this year.
“Sulli will be a really good acquisition for us with all of his experience. I’ve known him for a long time and I’m looking forward to working with him,” Brown said.
“He was training with us last year so he has already got that connection with the boys and they really like him.”
Among Beaufort’s other major recruits is Ben Hayes, who has joined from Lake Wendouree.
Hayes is a premiership player with the Lakers and was a junior footballer at Beaufort.
Brown is getting set for his second season as head coach of the Crows, which kick off the campaign with a round one clash against Daylesford on Saturday, April 7.
In a tough start to the year, Beaufort also has games against Bungaree, Gordon, Buninyong, Ballan, Dunnstown, Springbank, Hepburn and Waubra in the opening nine rounds.