It’s already shaping up as one of the greatest off-season recruitment periods of all time, but where do South Bunbury’s band of high-profile recruits fit under Julian Burgess’ new system, and where could it leave the club’s two most recent best-and-fairest winners? The news that former Fremantle Docker Jesse Crichton had backflipped on his decision to resume his WAFL career at East Fremantle and to instead sign with South Bunbury continued a run of signatures which includes fellow midfield gun and Hayward medalist Jace Cormack, Souths junior and Peel Football League Ross Elliot medal winner Fraser Millar and 2016 premiership hero Guy Piggott. It’s an astute period of recruitment that should position the league’s most successful club for another period at the top. But for some, like last year’s best and fairest and midfield leader Shaun Crane, it could bring a significant change in role. The trio of Crichton, Cormack and Millar are likely to command the majority of time on-ball, and will do it well, while a role on a wing could be the move for Crane. Outside of silky half-back man Tom Gorter, Crane is probably the Tigers’ best ball user and can impact on the scoreboard going forward, where he might also spend some time this season. Unlike Crane, 2020 best-and-fairest winner Rocco Versace seems to have a ready-made home. The unyielding midfielder-cum-defender made the transition to the back-half during the Tigers’ run towards the finals and was given the daunting task of minding high-flying Busselton forward Liam Creighton in the club’s only final. Former Tigers coach Stephen Bilcich said turning his bustling midfielder into athletic key defender was in part at least, because of his skill and drive coming out of defensive 50. “We were up and down in terms of form and I just wanted to settle our backline and I think Rocco does his best work down there,” he said at the time. “He has a steady head, he certainly has better skills than people give him credit for and they will suffer because of it.” With Versace appearing superfluous in midfield, Burgess will have the luxury of deploying him down back on a near-full-time basis, or even in the forward line if their stocks there aren’t as plentiful as in the past two seasons. It leaves the likes of former captain Matt Giacci and younger midfielders Ethan Nordahl in a tough spot, but could mark the birth of one of the league’s great football teams.