By: JESS WEBSTER
Riverina trio join forces with Canberra Demons
Talented Riverina trio Mitch Maguire, Mitch Hardie and Jacob Tuner will relocate to the nation’s capital to join the Canberra Demons for next NEAFL season.
Maguire, originally from the Northern Jets, was a member of the NSW/ACT Rams this year which also saw him selected as part of the Allies squad after a number of impressive performances across half-forward and the midfield.
Despite missing out on AFL Draft selection last week, Maguire is keen to ensure he has a consistent season with the Demons in 2017.
“Obviously it was disappointing not to be selected in the draft, however I’m looking forward to shifting to Canberra and the opportunity to play state league close to home was something that attracted me to the Demons,” he said.
“The NEAFL is turning into a really good platform to be looked at from the AFL clubs, so for me it’s to play my role within the group and play some quality footy to be looked at again.”
Hardie finished fourth in the 2015 Riverina league best-and-fairest award as an 18-year-old, and was also awarded the league’s Rising Star Award.
He is also looking forward to the opportunity to take the step up to a higher level.
“I’m really looking forward to getting up to Canberra and having a crack at NEAFL level. I’ve been fortunate that Leeton gave me the opportunity to play at senior level as a junior and it will be big step up into NEAFL which I’m keen to take,” he said.
Turner, a Temora product, has been part of the Giants Academy program alongside Maguire, and was selected in the 2016 NSW/ACT Rams squad.
The strong mid-sized forward will provide the Demons with some added height in the forward line and he aims to find some consistency in senior football.
“As with the other boys, NEAFL was the next step for me to continue my development which I am excited to be provided the opportunity to come to Canberra. I’ve only played three matches in the NEAFL as a Giants Academy member and I am looking forward to playing with the Canberra Demons,” he said.
Canberra Demons coach, Kade Klemke, said it is important for the club that opportunities are presented to players from the region.
Klemke is excited to develop the trio’s individual strengths in a senior environment.
“All three boys have their own strengths and for me it’s about providing the opportunities to the talented players in the Riverina region to have a crack at NEAFL level on a full-time basis, especially in Mitch Maguire’s case where he missed out on the draft on the weekend,” he said.
“The two Mitch’s will add to our midfield depth and both can play across half forward and they know where they goals are. Jacob will give us some added height down forward he’s a very strong kid for his age which will hold him in good stead.”
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