The Sebastopol Vikings have confirmed the signing of Pat Karras ahead of its state league 3 north-west season.
Karras arrives at the club after some stints away with Altona City and North Geelong.
READ MORE SPORT:
He previously played with Ballarat City also.
Vikings head coach Corey Smith told The Courier Karras is a great addition to the club and one that will add a lot of value on and off the pitch.
"Massive signing for us. Not just because of Pat's quality but also because Will Georgio, who's one of our probably more influential wingers did his ACL early in pre-season," he said.
"It just softens that blow but also adds to the squad."
Smith said the array of skills that Karras brings to the game will make him dangerous in 2021.
"He's just going to bring some experience, a little bit of calmness, he's two footed, quick and really just adds to what we already have," he said.
"He fits our style of play, he fits in with the boys off the pitch, he's just a good signing all around."
Karras played in the Simo Mitrovic memorial game which is where the wheels began to roll on a potential move.
Smith said Karras was looking to enjoy his football more than he had in previous years.
Despite other clubs chasing his services, he decided to sign with Sebastopol.
"With a player like that I said you'd always be welcome here but I understand you play at a higher level and I respect that as well," he said.
"I think he had a few clubs chasing him but he decided he wanted to enjoy his football this season and chose to play with us. Obviously we're still at a good level but it just means he can come back to enjoy playing again."
In honour of his good friend Mitrovic, who passed away in 2020, Karras will wear the number seven jersey, previously worn by Mitrovic.
The Mitrovic family will sponsor the player wearing number seven each year.
Smith said it felt right to hand the jersey to Karras.
"I felt being the big signing it was fitting that we pass that on to Pat based on the fact that they were good mates," he said.
"But we don't want to dwell on that either, that's something that is obviously nice to honour Simo but I think obviously once he puts that shirt on no matter what number it is he'll play his best."
The Viking's state league 3 north-west season kicks off Saturday March 20.
They'll face the Heidelberg Eagles at St Georges Reserve from 3:00pm.
They'll be aiming to better their 2019 campaign where they finished 10th with a 7-2-13 record.
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Courier, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling Ballarat's story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great city.
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.