BY KELLY MASTERS
The Coburg Football Club is pleased to announce that Dinny Cleary has signed as a Lion for the 2020 season.
Dinny follows in the footsteps of his father and Coburg Football Club legend Phil Cleary, as well as older Brother Ruairi Cleary who have both proudly donned the red and blue.
Cleary has joined Coburg after being the recipient of Avondale Heights best and fairest, as well taking home the EDFL’s Rising Star Award for his outstanding season during 2019.
During his time at Avondale Heights in 2019, Cleary played 14 games, kicked 2 goals and got named in his team’s best players 9 times.
After an impressive year, Cleary is now determined to get stuck into training and see what he is capable of at the next level.
“I’ve played football since I was eight throughout juniors and I’ve always wanted to take the next leap up, but I’ve always found myself not being able to reach it just out of a personal drive, or I’ve lacked that motivation. Now I think it’s time to knuckle down and see how far I can get with football.”
Prior to 2019 Cleary played his football at West Coburg, before moving to Avondale Heights. He is most damaging in the midfield, although he can rotate into the half backline and forward half when required.
“I missed a few games at the start of the season from an injury I got at the end of 2018. To come into Avondale Heights in my first year at the club was daunting missing a pre-season and coming in late. To then get first in their best and fairest I think it proved to myself that I was capable of playing a higher level of football and showed people around me that I could do that,” he said.
Growing up locally with a solid understanding of Coburg’s history, Cleary is looking forward to his chance to continue the family tradition.
“My Dad’s obviously very excited. It’s been a bit of a long time coming. I’ve done a few pre-seasons now but just with injuries and niggles, it’s been a bit hard to get onto the list. Now to finally achieve a spot on the list, he is very excited and happy for me. Same with my brother, he thinks that I’m definitely capable of playing at this level, so they’re both very excited.”
Although his father’s legacy may set a high bar for the recruit, the midfielder is looking forward to earning his own stripes throughout the season.
“With my family history, my Dad and Brother played at Coburg, and my Dad played a lot of games with a lot of wins. I’m looking forward to hopefully replicating something like that, but for now just focusing on enjoying my time and enjoying getting to know a lot of the boys, which will also put me out of my comfort zone taking the next step with my football.”
To join Dinny and pledge your commitment to Coburg for the 2020 season we encourage you to become a paid-up and passionate member. Please click here to view all of the club’s 2020 membership options: https://coburgfc.com.au/membership-2020/.