Magpies swoop: Clunes lures champion back to club

CLUNES’ Central Highlands Football League prospects have been boosted even further following the return of a best and fairest winner to the club.

The Magpies have landed the services of gun midfielder/forward Justin Harris, who landed back in Australia last night after time spent working and playing football in Canada.

Harris is back at the club that launched his junior career, where he went on to play 85 senior games, including grand final defeats in seasons 2004 and 2005.

He secured the Magpies’ senior best and fairest in 2005 and also won the goal-kicking in 2003 and 2006, before venturing to North Adelaide in the SANFL.

Harris also spent time with local clubs Carisbrook and Maryborough Rovers.

Clunes senior coach Jason Hill said Harris had the potential to be the best player in the league.

“The club is extremely enthusiastic about having him back. It really gives us some more leadership because we really do have a young list. We’ve recruited OK, but we do have a young list,” Hill said.

“He’s a big fish for us to land.”

Hill said despite Harris missing the club’s entire pre-season, he would step straight into the senior team for this Saturday’s season opener against Creswick.

This is providing his clearance request is complete.

Harris’ addition caps a successful recruiting drive by the Magpies, which have lured a number of key figures, including Hind brothers Jayden and Nick, who return from East Point, and ex-Buninyong defender Michael McKenzie.

Bob Hind is also making the move back to Clunes, where he has played 150 senior games.

Hind, another strong midfield option, returns after a stint with Lexton in the Maryborough Castlemaine District competition.

tim.oconnor@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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