Sebasopol Vikings are buoyed by the arrival of Ballarat City FC midfielder Jake Francis as they prepare to start the Football Victoria state league three north west season.on Saturday, March 20.
Vikings coach Corey Smith said the addtion of Francis was "massive".
"He's all class. A real talent."
Smith said Francis had already been a stand-out in pre-season games.
He said a career move had been the key factor in Francis making the shift to Sebastopol.
Francis made an impression as a youngster at senior level with the then Ballarat Red Devils in the early days of the National Premier Leagues.
The midfielder had his biggest season with City FC in 2018, making 28 appearances, before moving to Caroline Springs to play under Smith in his first season as head coach at the club 2019.
Francis returned to City FC mid-season after Smith parted ways with Caroline Springs.
Darby Gaffney and Kyran Taylor are other recruits at St George's Reserve.
Gaffney is not long out of under-age ranks with Ballarat City FC in the NPL.
The scoring midfielder mixed under-18 and under-20 commitments in 2019. He had planned to play with Noted United in the BDSA last year.
Taylor will take on an attacking role on his return to the club.
Smith said he was pleased with the way the Vikings' list was shaping up and the pre-season was progressing.
The Viking will begin the season - their first on their redeveloped home pitch - with three home games
The St George's Reserve pitches underwent a $1.4 million refurbishment, including new flood lights, in 2019, but the the abandonment of the 2020 season owing to COVID-19 means Sebastopol has had limited opportunities to play at the venue since its completion.
The season will comprise 22 home and away rounds, with the 12 teams meeting each other twice.