Sport

Senior coaches back at the helm for Avenel in 2020

By Meg Saultry

Avenel senior leader Kasey Duncan is set to go around again in 2020, albeit in a wholly off-field role.

Duncan had plenty of success both on and off the field this year, picking up the leading goalkicker award and being named senior coach of the year at the recent Kyabram District League awards.

As well as guiding Avenel to a third-place finish in the home-and-away season, Duncan co-coached the KDL interleague team to its win over the Golden Rivers Football Netball League.

But a failed ACL reconstruction will see Duncan sidelined next year as the dynamo directs his full attention to coaching the Swans.

Speaking to The Telegraph this week, Duncan said he would look to get his knee injury sorted in a timeframe best suited for himself, but was looking forward to getting stuck into his coaching role at Avenel again next season.

“When I initially agreed to coach, it was a two-year agreement, so it was always the plan to go again,” Duncan said.

“I thought we had a fairly successful year this year. We were able to unify a base group.

“I can’t wait to get stuck into it again.”

Duncan will be supported in his role by defender Dean Giles, who is set to take on a playing assistant role.

Stepping up: Dean Giles will take on an assistant playing role for Avenel in 2020.

Their most pressing task will be recruiting a number of new key senior talent, with Swans skipper Michael Tinkler, Michael Morgan and brothers Sam and Angus Durnan having stepped away from the club ahead of next season.

“We’ll look to replace the guys we need to and add to some areas we lacked this year, which should help us go better come September,” Duncan said.

“We’ll look to add some size in the midfield and some key position players.

“We’ll go with a similar set-up, nothing much will change that way.

“We know what the benchmark is and we think we can be there.”

In other coaching news, Joey Pollock has been reappointed to lead the reserves squad after leading it to a grand final appearance this year, while Tylah Long will take on the role of lifting the under-18s up the ladder. Long will be assisted by Rhys Saultry.

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In Avenel’s netball ranks, Jacinta Jamison will once again lead both the A and B-grade netball teams, alongside Bree D’Andrea, while Rian Challis will coach the C-grade side.

As for the junior Swans, Dakota Griffiths will again coach the under-17s, Maggie and Donna McDonald will take charge of the under-15s and Jacki Tubecki will guide the under-13s.