Talented Wagga Tigers teenager Jake Gaynor will have a crack at the Ovens and Murray League with Albury Tigers next year.
The dynamic midfielder signed with the Ovens and Murray powerhouse earlier this month and began pre-season training in Albury on Tuesday night.
In further concern for Wagga Tigers, two-time league leading goalkicker John Buchanan also trained with Albury Tigers as he weighs up his future.
Gaynor is one of AFL Riverina’s most promising talents and was a member of the Giants Academy, playing a number of games for Greater Western Sydney’s NEAFL team this year.
Gaynor also played in Tigers’ senior premiership last year.
Gaynor, 18, wanted to have a crack at a higher level.
“I thought I would change things up a bit. It’s a new challenge and a new environment,” Gaynor said.
“I’m only young once so I thought I might as well have a crack at it.”
It will be a change of scene for Gaynor, who has been at Robertson Oval since starting as a junior.
It will be a big commitment as Gaynor will travel from Wagga to train and play with Albury.
He said it was a difficult decision to leave his home club.
“It was pretty tough because I’ve been there for ages and won a flag,” Gaynor said.
“Not making finals this year was tough to take but they have wished me all the best.”
A number of clubs from near and far chased the services of Gaynor.
He chose Albury Tigers after having been impressed by the club when watching elder cousin Josh Gaynor in action at the club years ago.
“My cousin (Josh) played there a couple of years ago so I’ve had a bit of family there,” Gaynor said.
“I used to go over and watch them play a fair bit when he was there and liked them.
“It should be good. I’m keen as.”
Gaynor will join Wagga Tigers premiership teammate Brady Morton at Albury Tigers.
Gaynor is the fourth Wagga Tigers player to leave for the Ovens and Murray in the past 12 months, following in the footsteps of Morton, Shaun Flanigan and Jackson Kelly.
Buchanan could potentially join that list after training with Albury this week.
He is yet to make a decision on his plans for 2018 but is in talks with a couple of Ovens and Murray clubs, as well as Wagga Tigers.
Buchanan has kicked 191 goals over the past three seasons at Tigers.