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Lions boosted

Belmont Lions have signed former Bell Post Hill star Will Kelly. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Marcel Berens)

NEW Belmont Lions coach Ash Witney has added some much-needed talent and depth to the Club’s list.

Witney, who was appointed to the top job at the struggling Lions in July, has used his head start to good effect, with brother Dylan and fellow Bell Post Hill premiership star Will Kelly joining him at Winter Reserve.

Kelly, who was a member of the Panthers’ 2015-16 flags, as well as being selected in the 2016 GDFL Team of the Year, spent this year playing at Heyfield in the North Gippsland league.

“He went back to his home club to play with his cousin,” Witney said. “I touched base with him pretty early on in the piece and he was umming and ahhing about it.

“But he flicked me a message at the end of the season and he said he’s on board at Belmont next year.

“He’s a good get. With your five-point players and your four-point players, you’ve got to make sure they’re A-grade players.”

Dylan Witney spent the last two seasons with GFL club Grovedale, however a shoulder injury limited him to just five senior matches this year.

He underwent surgery on Monday in the hope of being ready to go for the opening game of 2018.

“He’s already been doing some work with Stoofa (fitness guru Steven Lewry) before he had his operation to get his fitness base back up.

“We’ll tailor a pre-season with him so that he’s right Round 1.”

The Lions have also added former Panther and North Geelong player Matt Wiese, while welcoming back Luke Verhoef and brothers Alex and Adrian Hann from Colac Imperials.

Jordan O’Dwyer, Alex Jolly and Adam Douglas have also signed to add depth to Witney’s list.

“You’ve got to be very strategic with how you do it, because you don’t want to go getting all these guys over and you can’t give them a (senior) game,” he said.

“Once I got appointed, Dyl and I went and watched a few games and targeted a few areas we think need improving, which is a lot of midfield stuff and someone who can play either back or forward.

“We’ve got a lot of guys who played out of position this year that are really natural forwards.

“Devon Winsall – who I rate very highly – was playing a lot through the midfield this year through necessity.”

The Lions have also made a handy off-field acquisition with highly-rated Bell Post Hill assistant coach Andrew Atchison.

“He was probably my No.1 target, coaching-wise,” Witney said. “(He is) very knowledgeable, he and I worked very well together the last two years I was down there at Bell Post Hill.

“We like footy being played the same way as each other, so I think it will work really well.

“We’ve got Scotty Pickett. He’s coached here in his own right before. He’s a bit of a spiritual leader of the club and he’ll be doing some stuff with the forwards and the younger guys.

“Stoofa’s going to some of our fitness stuff.

“I think he’s doing it with a few clubs, but he’s going to do four nights before Christmas and then take us for a camp.

“It’s a massive get having someone like that to do our pre-season.”