The Swans have continued a strong recruiting drive into the season, this time in the form of a former under-16 Northern Knights player with a connection to the club.
Braydon Avola, 20, who is set to join Avenel from the Northern Football Netball League side Whittlesea, is a friend of assistant coach Kasey Duncan and Nathan Woods.
Duncan said despite his age, Avola had built an impressive footballing resume, with multiple junior best and fairest awards, a leadership role, and an interleague berth under his belt.
‘‘I had been in touch with him for a while and he eventually decided the Swannies nest would be a good home for him,’’ Duncan said.
‘‘He adds another string to our midfield and will show plenty of raw pace and skill down forward as well. He is a great young kid and we are rapt to have him.’’
Avola will join Michael Tinkler, Angus Durnan, Garret Davies, James Ingham, Scott Taylor and Jake Sutherland as new faces in a fast developing Swans outfit.
Duncan said the recruits had proven their worth.
‘‘(Tinkler) has been super with his leadership and knowledge of the game. He is a teacher (at Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School), so knows his stuff and how to communicate with people. He could still go up a few gears on the field I believe and it won’t be far away,’’ he said.
‘‘Big Gus (Durnan) is slowly getting to 100 per cent, with still a niggling hamstring, but showed his class with the goal from the pocket, while Garret, I believe, has been our most consistent new recruit and is yet to play a bad game.
‘‘Jake has been good for a release for ‘Subba’ (Paul Arandt), but has some groin issues at the moment, and looking for some more fitness and game time in the reserves, and Jimmy (Ingham) has just come back from a calf (injury) but his aggression in the contest is as good as any.’’
Avenel, which clawed its way into the top eight with a hard-fought win against Undera in round six, plays local rivals Nagambie this weekend, with Xavier Dowling expected to be available after recovering from a knee injury.