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East lands Bay trio

Sam Lowe is one three signings at East Geelong from Apollo Bay. (Colac Herald Image/Tammy Brown)

EAST Geelong has gone a long way to filling some holes in its line-up with the signing of Apollo Bay trio Sam Lowe, Jayden Fanning and Mick Condon.

Lowe, Fanning and Condon are all Geelong-based and have decided against travelling down the Great Ocean Road again in 2018.

“Chris Hilet, who’s been involved at East Geelong in the past, was coming back, and that’s how where we got onto those blokes,” first-year Eagles coach Jeremy Power said.

“They’re a pretty tight-knit group as well.”

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Power says all three will play important roles for East Geelong as it looks to improve on its 5½ wins from this year.

“Sam comes in as a tall, running, hard-working winger. Someone who can defend, and run back with the flight and take a mark, which is really important for us,” Power said.

“Mick is a leader on-field and off-field, and he’s going to give us a fair bit of class and grunt around the ball.

“Jayden can play in the ruck, key back or key forward, and ticks a lot of boxes for us.”

Fanning had senior GFL experience with Geelong West prior to joining Apollo Bay.

However, in a blow for the Eagles, 2017 playing co-coach Ruben Vesikuru will play with Birchip next year.

“He’s going back home to play with some mates and try and pinch a flag with his home club,” Power said. “We understand that.

“He’ll be training with us still throughout the year, so we still get all the values from him, unfortunately just not from a playing point of view.”

East Geelong will be one of the first local clubs to commence official preparations for 2018 with pre-season training to begin next Monday.

Power says the Eagles will have some specific focuses in the lead-up to Christmas.

“Getting everyone on the same page on how we want to play, and that’s around stop play scenarios, and how we move the footy from the backline going forward,” he said.

“It’s probably an area where we did alright, but I think we can get much better once we get on the same page.”

MEANWHILE, Bellarine league club Queenscliff has further strengthened its list.

The Coutas, who last month signed Leopold premiership Ben Carmichael, have added key position player Nick Aringo from Waubra in the Central Highlands league and skillful midfielder Nathan Monk from Ballarat league club Lake Wendouree.

Twitter: @tom_king79