Clunes lands recruiting coup

CLUNES has dropped a major recruiting bombshell with the luring of star Buninyong defender Michael McKenzie.

McKenzie, widely regarded as one of the best key position backmen in the Central Highlands Football League, has signed with the Magpies, where he will 

take up an assistant’s role to senior coach Jason Hill.

Hill said McKenzie was a massive gain for the club.

“It’s really big for the club. As everybody knows, it’s a big thing to change clubs and a huge thing for established players to change clubs within the league,” Hill said.

“Initially, when we first had our meeting, I wasn’t completely confident we would get him because he is an established star at Buninyong, but when he was happy to have a second chat and spoke about leadership-type roles, we were thrilled to bits.

“The club is really excited from committee level to be able to land a big name from within the league.”

McKenzie’s start to the season will be delayed, with recent knee surgery meaning he is unlikely to be available for selection until round four or five.

But McKenzie, who has played in the Bombers’ past two grand final defeats, still looms as one of the recruits of the year for the Magpies, which have also confirmed Jayden and Nick Hind have returned from stints at East Point.

McKenzie joins an exciting coaching panel, with the Hind boys’ father, John, stepping up to a senior joint position alongside Hill. 

Jason Yole will focus on development, Luke Redpath the forwards and Luke Caldwell the defensive end. 

All are expected to be playing in season 2014.

Clunes opens its season with a home clash against Creswick on Saturday, April 5.

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