Northern NSW NPL heavyweights Edgeworth have snared Kiwi international Jeremy Brockie and welcomed back Kristian Brymora to lead their front line and offset losses from their championship-winning squad.
The Eagles, who claimed the premiership and grand final in 2020 despite the shock exit of coach Damian Zane to rivals Broadmeadow, have lost several players since their 1-0 win over Maitland in the decider last November.
Keanu Moore, Jose Atayde and Noah Steinerts have linked with Zane at Broadmeadow, Ayden Brice has returned to Victorian NPL side Melbourne Knights, Mitch Hunter and Adam Cawley have moved away for work and Mitch Dobson has joined Weston.
The Eagles, though, have hit back with the signing of Brockie and other quality additions under new coach Michael Bridges.
Veteran Josh Rose, who filled in as coach while still playing last year, is back. Brymora, the equal top scorer in the competition with Braedyn Crowley last regular season, has returned from interstate trials.
Edgeworth, who had already signed former Olympic midfielder Jake McGuinness, have also picked up Belgian left-back Lionel Glorieux from Fraser Park and stopper Mauro Leon-Davila from Bonnyrigg in the NSW NPL.
Brockie, though, is the biggest-name recruit for Edgeworth, who in 2021 will be shooting for a fifth grand final win and sixth premiership in seven years.
The well-travelled Brockie, 33, has played with the New Zealand Knights, Sydney, North Queensland, Newcastle and Wellington in the A-League but has been plying his trade in South Africa since 2015.
He returned to Australia during the pandemic last year and was listed by Weston as a potential injury replacement in the final few rounds of the NNSW NPL season but never played.
He was trialling with the Jets in November before signing for 2021 with Bentleigh Greens in the Victorian NPL.
Brockie had spoken to the Eagles before that deal and he has since switched to Edgeworth for family reasons. The Eagles will provide greater flexibility around training to allow Brockie to spend time with his family at home in North Queensland between games.
Edgeworth administrator Warren Mills said the unexpected loss of Cawley and Hunter because of work had been a blow but the club was thrilled with the latest acquisitions.
"With [Brockie] and then Kristian back, it's a classy duo to get," Mills said.
"He's 33 and been a professional player all his career and he's played 60-odd times for New Zealand, so he's a decent player.
"I think it's a massive signing for us."
Brockie is expected to join the Eagles on Friday for training and play in a trial against the Central Coast on Saturday at Jack McLaughlan Oval.
Edgeworth made a strong start to pre-season, beating NSW NPL 1 side Wollongong Wolves 1-0 in a trial last week. Grand final 2020 man of the match Dylan Holz scored the goal.