A promising young Ballarat Football Netball League forward has fallen into the lap of Melton South.
New coach Travis Hodgson has persuaded this year's BFNL under-19 best and fairest Ryder Rousch to join the Panthers.
He said getting Rousch to follow him from Sunbury had happened by chance.
Hodgson said over his long coaching career he had not been in the practice when changing clubs of recruiting players from his previous team in the first season.
He said he had approached Rousch when he heard the teenager had decided to leave the Lions and continue his football career elsewhere.
Hodgson said with the 200cm youngster not yet making a commitment, he reached out and was delighted to get him on board.
He said having had a close association with Rousch made the approach easy.
Hodgson coached Rousch at under-17 level and gave him his senior debut for Sunbury against Melton South last season, in which he kicked four goals.
Rousch joins Melton South, which Hodgson has the task of lifting off the bottom of the ladder, after a stand-out year - winning the BFNL under-19 best and fairest award emphatically by 10 votes.
Hodgson said Rousch was highly skilled and mobile, particularly for his height.
"He's strong overhead and will be a fantastic addition.
"He's a key forward who can also play in the ruck, and that's probably how we'll use him," he said.
With pre-season training under way and the core of the Panthers' player list re-signed, Hodgson said he was hopeful of more recruiting announcements shortly.
Melton South already has AFl-experienced Patrick Veszpremi secured.
He spent time with the Sydney Swans and Western Bulldogs playing a total of 23 AFL games from 2008 to 2013.