Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Magnabosco and Morris join Echuca

Echuca Football Club has signed Joel Magnabosco and Kane Morris for next season.

LUKE MCMANUS December 13, 2013 4:06am

Echuca Football Club has warmly welcomed the signatures of recruits Joel Magnabosco and Kane Morris for season 2014.

The signings come after the Murray Bombers lured former junior Ben Reid back to Victoria Park, fresh from stints with Greater Western Sydney and Glenelg Tigers, on top of locking away contract extensions for Sam Toulmin and Liam Wilkinson.

With pre-season well under way and a troublesome 2013 season almost behind them, coach Andrew Briggs said the welcome additions reflected a turning of the tide at the club.

‘‘I’m very excited to have them at Echuca,’’ he said.

‘‘Both Joel and Kane have a lot of experience behind them and are good leaders which will only benefit the younger playing group we have at the club.

‘‘New blood is always good.’’

Magnabosco, 25, brings a wealth of experience to the Murray Bombers, having spent time playing VFL football with Werribee.

After five seasons and winning a reserves best and fairest with the Tigers, Magnabosco was recruited to Altona in the Western Region Football League, where he tasted premiership success in 2012.

A classy midfielder and a ‘‘good user of the ball’’, according to his new coach and former work colleague Briggs, Magnabosco said he was most looking forward to experiencing country football for the first time.

‘‘Country footy offers a different atmosphere. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while now,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s more about the club than the team and the off-field support is generally prouder and louder, which I’m excited about.’’

Morris, 23, also joins Echuca after four seasons with Canberra’s Ainslie Football Club in the North East Australian Football League, the same competition which houses the Sydney Swans and GWS reserves teams.

Unfortunate not to play in the club’s 2010 and 2011 premierships, Morris bounced back to place fourth in last season’s best and fairest count.

Standing 197cm tall, Morris played as a ruckman with Ainslie but will find himself taking on a different role at Echuca, with coach Andrew Briggs keen to use Morris’ height and versatility to fill a void up forward.

Morris said he was looking forward to the challenge ahead and hoped to make a positive impact at his new home.

He said close ties in Echuca helped sway his decision.

‘‘I have a mate from (this way) as well as family friends and cousins. I’ve spent some time (here) myself so I thought I might as well have a run,’’ Morris said.

‘‘I’m very excited about the move. I’m a bit unsure of what to expect but it will be something different and should be some good fun.

‘‘When I got to Ainslie, the plan was to play just the one season, but I ended up spending four years there so I’m looking forward to the change and playing footy in a country town.’’

Ironically, Morris’ link with Echuca runs even deeper than family and friends, having been coached at Ainslie by former Echuca playing coach Chris Rourke.

‘‘I have a lot of respect for Chris,’’ Morris said.

‘‘He is a great coach and doing great things with that football club. I’ve learnt a lot from him which I hope to replicate with Echuca.’’

On top of its signings, Echuca’s recruitment drive is far from finished with more announcements expected in the new year.

Luke McManus

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