MANGOPLAH-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes have landed one of their biggest signings in a decade by luring Nathan Byrne to the club.
Byrne has signed with the Goannas after eight years playing in Melbourne.
The 27-year-old will join fellow MCUE recruits Dylan de Britt and Jordan Foster in travelling from Melbourne each week.
Byrne, a Turvey Park product, has spent the past six seasons with Essendon and District League club Avondale Heights, where he established himself as a club champion.
A ruckman or key position player, Byrne was last year named in Avondale Heights’ ‘Golden Jubilee Team’, their best team of the last 50 years.
MCUE coach Travis Cohalan said the lure of playing with some of his best mates got Byrne to the club.
“He likes where the club is situated at the moment, with our performances over the last few years, and with what we have recruited and the players we’ve got coming through,” Cohalan explained.
“The opportunity to play alongside good friends was a really strong lure to him to come to Mango.”
Byrne is a former club captain of Avondale Heights and finished runner up in the club’s best and fairest thing year, after previously winning the award.
He also spent time at VFL club Northern Bullants and Old Scotch before settling at Avondale Heights.
Cohalan is yet to work out where Byrne will slot into the MCUE line-up.
“The most exciting thing is not only is he such a quality player but he’s so versatile as well,” he said.
“He’s a key position player that could play anywhere up the spine. At the moment, I’d say he will be in the ruck and up forward.”
The addition of Byrne, de Britt and Foster adds a host of quality key position options to a Goannas team that made the preliminary final.
“We’re definitely happy with our recruiting, it’s our most successful recruiting campaign for some years,” Cohalan said.
“Not only are they quality players, and key position players which we’ve lacked, but they are quality human beings and blokes as well.”