Avenel’s new recruits a shot in the arm

February 01, 2018

Season ending: Avenel midfielder Kasey Duncan tore his anterior cruciate ligament leaving the 2016 McNamara medalist on the sidelines.

Avenel is rallying together a potent side in the hope of securing its first Kyabram District Football League premiership since 1994.

Shepparton Swans premiership player Michael Tinkler and Avondale Heights key position player Angus Durnan are set to add firepower to the side.

They have been drawn to the Swans through ties to premier midfielder Michael Morgan.

Kasey Duncan, who is recovering from an ACL injury, is an assistant to coach Don Stirling this season and said the club was thrilled to have the duo on board.

‘‘We’re all down (living) in Melbourne and we got him (Tinkler) on board which is exciting for the club because of his background as a footballer as well as just being a ripper bloke,’’ Duncan said.

Although Tinkler was a star defender during the 2014 premiership winning season, Duncan said Tinkler would more than likely join Morgan in the midfield.

‘‘We’ll try and use him a bit more through the mid, but he’ll also slip back into the half-back line where he’s played most of his footy, but he’s keen to get a bit more midfield time and we’re keen to utilise his skills,’’ he said.

If all goes well in his rehabilitation, Duncan will also join them late in the season to formulate an even more formidable midfield.

‘‘The knee’s going really well now, it’s about four months now since the operation, so I am looking to come in around August,’’ he said.

‘‘If all goes to plan I’ll see if I can sneak in.’’

Tinkler joins from Northern Football League side Eltham, while Durnan comes off a solid season starring at full-back in the Essendon District Football League.

Capable at both ends, he’ll also be dangerous up forward with Duncan anticipating Durnan will spend some time in the ruck.

The Swans have also lured Violet Town’s Jake Sutherland to the club, to also make an impact in the ruck.

About 10 players will travel from Melbourne for games, with Duncan keen for the side to secure what has eluded Avenel for so long.

Having won the 1994 premiership, the Swans did not feature in another senior grand final until 2016.

But rival Nagambie took home the silverware, and then Avenel went down to the Towners in the semi-final last season.

‘‘We’ve got a good young group looking to try and build on the last three or four years of finals and hopefully go one better,’’ Duncan said.

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