HUME League heavyweight Osborne have won the race for sought-after ruckman Duncan McMaster.
Just days after missing out on the signature of two-time Jim Quinn Medallist Chris Gordon, Osborne have secured the services of McMaster for the 2016 season.
McMaster moved to Wagga early this year but stayed with Tallangatta League club Tallangatta.
Riverina, Farrer and Hume League clubs all chased his services before a connection with some friends at Osborne helped the Cats over the line.
McMaster trained one night a week at Wagga Tigers and Osborne this year so is no stranger to the club, or new captain-coach Matt Rava.
He was happy to add another quality player to the ruck stocks at Osborne.
“There were a few clubs after him so it’s good to get him,” Rava said.
“He trained one night at Osborne and one night at Tigers this year and looked good.
“I haven’t seen him play but have heard good reports. He was at Lavington for a couple of years and won a best and fairest at Tallangatta in 2014.”
Hayden Gleeson and Jamie Parr shared the ruck duties at Osborne this year.
Rava expects both to be able to spend more time forward courtesy of McMaster’s arrival.
“We’ll have a couple of different options, which is good,” he said.
“H (Gleeson) can play more forward and pinch hit in the ruck. Duncan will come in and take a lot of (the ruck). Parrie will probably be able to play a lot more across half-forward.
“Hopefully we can get something out of all three.”
McMaster played 47 senior games at Tallangatta over the past three seasons, including 11 this year.
He managed seven senior Ovens and Murray League games at Lavington in 2012, along with 32 reserve grade games over two seasons.
Osborne will begin training under Rava for the first time in the second week of January.
They have already held a meet the coach night, where Rava was impressed by the turnout from both players and supporters.
The club has kept their losses to a minimum and are still in discussions with a couple of prospective recruits to top off their list.
“It’s been good so far,” Rava said.
“We haven’t done any training yet, a few of the boys have been going for a light run but we’ll start in the second week of January.”
Osborne open the Hume League season with an away game against Billabong Crows on April 2.
Meantime, Hume League rivals Lockhart hope to land a further signing shortly.
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