St Pat's coach Zac Merritt has looked to a former teammate and Group 11 premiership winner to bolster his squad for the 2022 season.
Hayden Bolam, who captained Forbes Magpies as recently as 2019, has signed on for the Saints' upcoming Peter McDonald Premiership campaign, after playing a handful of games for the club towards the end of last season.
A hooker by trade, Bolam was a part of the Forbes squad that won the 2016 and 2018 Group 11 first grade premiership, with Merritt a part of the 2016 grand final win.
"Hayden Bolam has signed from Forbes and he's won a couple of premierships over there," he said.
"I played with him when we won the comp over there. I know what he can do and he can add a bit of strike power to us, which is handy for us."
"The other guys, Jackson played for us last year, so it's great we've confirmed him for this year.
"Blake, he's returned to us after playing with Oberon last season. He was with us the year before which was obviously called off so he went back to Oberon but he's back now, which is great."
The signing news comes after St Pat's commenced its pre-season training on Tuesday for all grades.
Merritt was pleased with the turnout at the first hit out of the season.
"It was a good little turnout. We had about 40-something players there from across the three grades, which was promising for our very first session," he said.
"We had a few in isolation and stuff like that, so hopefully we can get a few more than in the sessions to come.
"Everyone that turned up had a pretty good attitude, which was good. They all trained well. We didn't do too much intense stuff."
Earlier this week, after a number of draft versions, NSWRL finally confirmed its final draw for the Peter McDonald Premiership and it has St Pat's away to Group 11 rivals Parkes Spacemen in the first week.
While Parkes is a relatively unfamiliar face for St Pat's, it's not for Merritt, who would've featured in plenty of heated clashes when playing for Forbes.
He said he's looking forward to the opening round of the new competition.
"I think it's going to be exciting. It's the first round of the Peter McDonald Premiership," he said.
"Everyone is going to be excited and everyone is going to be up for it. I think it's going to be a good game and you get to see a different brand of footy from two different areas."
The new Peter McDonald Premiership is expected to commence on the weekend of April 9-10.
St Pat's will play the first three games of the season away from it homes - Parkes, Dubbo CYMS and local rivals Bathurst Panthers - before playing its first game at home against Cowra Magpies in round four.
St Pat's will be running its training sessions at 6pm on both Tuesdays and Thursdays from its home ground of Jack Arrow Sporting Complex on Hereford Street.
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