GREAT WESTERN - All the signs are positive for Great Western Football Club as they look to their second season in the Mininera and District Football League.
The Lions have been actively recruiting since the end of the 2012 season, with the number of new senior players signing on to the club currently standing at 12.
Among these recruits are BJ Burton from Ararat Eagles while the club has also picked up Tim Waring (Stawell Warriors), Justin Lee (Navarre), Richard Thomas (Swifts) and former Wimmera Football League Ararat players Lachie Molloy and Brett Dowie.
Glenn Walker joins Burton from Ararat Eagles, while Bobby Garley is an ex-Lions player returning from Geelong.
A range of positions will be filled, with Thomas and Dowie set to line up in the middle and onball, while Walker will feature on the wing/onball, Garley in defence and Burton is set to take his spot in the forward line.
Great Western president Rodney Matheson is 'very happy' with the way the Lions pre-season is progressing.
"We've had players come to us wanting to come and play, which is good," he said.
Mr Matheson said new senior coach, former Stawell player Nick Thomas, is settling into the club.
"Nick has fit in pretty well. There have been no hassles so far."
Thomas has been taking the Lions players for runs up to the Pinnacle out at Halls Gap and when pre-season training starts again, he is looking to take them out to Lake Lonsdale to run on sand.
"The grounds (in the Mininera League) are often wet, so Nick wants to get strength and miles into the players legs early," Mr Matheson said.
Pre-season training commenced for the Lions prior to Christmas, with an average of 18-20 players turning up which the president said was 'pretty good' considering it was the holiday season.
The Lions have also named a new under 16 coach, with Simon Brady taking on the role for season 2013.
Brady is from the Moyston/Great Western area, is an ex-WFL Ararat player and has a young son, Tom, who will also play for the Lions junior side.
He also has daughters who will play netball for the club.
Mr Matheson was thrilled with the appointment of Brady.
"To get his family involved and be a part of the club is great," he said.
Damien Scott, a regular Lions senior player in 2012, has been appointed coach of the Lions reserves side for this season.
In other club news, Great Western are continuing to upgrade their facilities.
The Lions have taken the initiative to install solar power on the clubhouse to help cover the cost of lights, which was getting high last season.
As well as the installation of the solar panels, the club also has a new instantaneous gas hot water system and are hoping to have a new fence up around Great Western Recreation Reserve before the 2013 season begins.
The club went the whole year without a fence around the football oval.
"Our facilities are improving all the time and it's all starting to look good," Mr Matheson said.
The Lions pre-season training recommences tomorrow at Great Western.